Delegate Knight Files Menhaden Legislation to Address Massive Public Concerns
Virginia Beach, VA – Delegate Barry D. Knight, of Virginia’s 81st House District, filed two pieces of legislation to address the massive concerns of the people of Hampton Roads with menhaden fishing regulations. Menhaden populations affect many other species in the Chesapeake Bay and they are considered the most important fish of the sea.
The first piece of legislation will be to remove regulatory authority from the Virginia General Assembly and place it under the purview of the Virginia Marine Resource Center (VMRC). All marine life in the Commonwealth of Virginia is regulated by the VMRC using scientific data and trends. Menhaden is the only species that continue to be regulated by the General Assembly.
“Regulation for menhaden fishing should be based on scientific research and not the political whim of the governor or legislative body.” -Delegate Knight
The second piece of legislation being carried by Delegate Knight will push menhaden fishing three miles off of the coast of Virginia from the North Carolina line to Cape Henry and one mile off of the coast of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. This legislation will put into code a gentleman’s agreement with menhaden fishing and the people of Virginia Beach.
This evening Delegate Knight, along with Senator Frank Wagner and Senator-elect Bill DeSteph, will be hosting an event for Hampton Roads Anglers Associations to discuss the issue of Menhaden fishing off the coast of Virginia and in the waters and tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay. The meeting has had a change of location and will be held at the Virginia Beach Resort Hotel and Conference Center today, Tuesday, December 22nd from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Legislators participating want to have a discussion with anglers about their concerns with the menhaden fish population, and how to address these concerns during the 2016 legislative session.
“I have been working the menhaden issue for several years since my election to the Virginia House of Delegates, and look forward to this dialog to gain grassroots support for the General Assembly to do what is right for the conservation efforts for the menhaden population.” -Delegate Barry D. Knight