HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) - Tens of thousands of dead fish washed ashore between Fort Monroeand Grandview Island Beach in Hampton Wednesday morning.
John Bull with the Virginia Marine Resource Commission (VMRC)told WAVY.com the fish are a result of a commercial fishingspill.
Texas-based Omega Protein was fishing for Menhaden off the coastof Grandview Island, just northwest of Buckroe Beach on Monday whenthe spill took place, Bull said.
Omega Protein fishes for Menhaden, a type of fish used for theiroils for vitamin supplements and also for fertilizer and animalfeed. As they pull the nets in, the nets close like a purse andsometimes when they pull the fish into the trawlers, dead fishspill out. Such is the case in this incident, Bull said.
The fish usually sink to the bottom, but then float back up acouple of days later.
The company is in the process of cleaning up the fish.
Forty to 50,000 fish spilled in this particular incident,according to Bull.
Omega Protein released the following statement in regard to thespill:
Recently a net tear on Omega Protein's vessel, the Kimberly, resulted in a fish spill. The incident occurred approximately four miles from shore off of Ft Monroe and Grandview Park. The spill was immediately reported to the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) and Omega Protein has been in constant contact with them since the spill.
The majority of the fish were pushed out to sea, but an estimated 25,000 fish have made contact ashore. VMRC is monitoring the efforts of Omega Protein as the company responds to the spill. Necessary equipment and manpower have been dispatched and Omega Protein will cover any cost incurred as they work together with local and state officials to clean the fish off of the shore.
Omega Protein expects to have the area cleared by the end of the day on Wednesday.
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