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5 trawlers fishing for Bunker with 2 spotting planes above

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Uploaded on Aug 5, 2011

5 trawlers fishing for Bunker with 2 spotting planes above

Hundreds of ships hunted the schools and dozen of reductions factories along the entire eastern seaboard processed the fish into oil and fertilizer, "making the menhaden fishery itself one of 19th century America's largest industries."

Yet, none of the take in the 19th century compares to what menhaden's top predator today, Omega Protein, is taking from the sea. "In the twenty-first century, Omega Protein's annual catch still exceeds that of those hundreds of nineteenth-century vessels," Franklin argues.

Omega Protein Corporation is a Houston, Tex., based corporation with a fish processing facility in Reedville, Va. on the Chesapeake. They claim to be North America's largest manufacturer of fishmeal and organic fish solubles and their product lines, according to their website, are sourced from menhaden.

"This is not some mom-and-mom commercial fishing outfit for food, it's an immense corporation which has historically put profit before the public good," Jim Donofrio the executive director of the Recreational Fishing Alliance said.

Omega Protein runs reduction boats with spotter planes to capture wild menhaden which they then reduce to make their products at reduction plants such as the one located in Reedville. They may, however, be finally forced to cut back on their take.

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