Limits on menhaden fishing denied

Published 11:38 pm Wednesday, January 21, 2009

State marine regulators have declined to put limits on the number of menhaden that can be caught off the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Mississippi Department of Marine Resources officials said Tuesday that more than 1 billion pounds of menhaden are caught each year in the Gulf. There are 41 boats fishing for menhaden, half as many as in the 1980s.

The fish are valued for their byproducts.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Omega Protein in Moss Point is the nation’s largest producer of Omega-3 fish oil for human consumption. Company officials say imposing a limit would a hindrance, especially in the current economy.

Members of Save the Bait Coalition of Mississippi want regulation of the industry, including catch limits and independent observers on all menhaden boats.