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Regulators vote 20 percent menhaden catch cut

Friday - 12/14/2012, 6:20pm  ET

BALTIMORE - Fisheries regulators have voted for a 20 percent cut in the catch of menhaden, an oily fish prized for use in dietary supplements, cosmetics and animal feed.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission voted Friday on the limit. The commission also voted to maintain the current allocation of the catch: 80 percent for those who catch menhaden for use in products such as animal feed and 20 percent for those who harvest menhaden for bait.

The Omega Protein plant in Reedville, Va., lands about 80 percent of the catch and employs about 300. The company had supported an overall 10 percent cut.

Environmentalists and recreational fishermen lobbied for the cuts. They say menhaden are a key food for fish such as striped bass and the filter feeders improve water quality.

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