REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. - In the next few months, the First State could be the next state to adopt an aquaculture industry on the East Coast.
"Why now? You know, it's time," said E.J. Chalabala.
On the surface, the proposed launch of a new aquaculture industry looks attractive: big bucks for Delaware.
"It's about time for us to start getting into the $119 million industry that makes up the East Coast," said Chalabala, a Restoration Coordinator, Delaware Center for Inland Bays.
But the heated debate over oyster farming boils below the water line.
Rehoboth, Indian River and Little Assawoman Bays are all, on average, about six to eight-feet deep,according to Chalabala. With oyster beds about four feet high, recreational boaters and fishermen, residents and some clammers worry this will drastically change their way of life.
"It really puts a damper on where we can or can't go and what we can do," said Joshua Alexander, a Long Neck resident.
Todd Dorman works as a commercial clammer in Rehoboth Bay. He believes that if the law can be changed now to allow lease ground "and take it from the public then they can change the law again" to add more land for oyster farms.
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National Fisherman Live: 1/27/15
In this episode:
Assessment: Atlantic menhaden is not overfished
Bering Sea pollock fishery casts off
Dock to Dish opens Florida’s first CSF
Second wave of disaster funds for Alaska
Fisherman lands N.C.’s largest bluefin ever
The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute is still seeking public review and comment on the Alaska Responsible Fisheries Management Conformance Criteria (Version 1.2, September 2011). The public review and comment period, which opened on Dec. 3, 2014, runs through Monday, Feb. 3.
NOAA, in consultation with the Department of the Interior, has appointed 10 new members to the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee. The 20-member committee is composed of individuals with diverse backgrounds and experience who advise the departments of commerce and the interior on ways to strengthen and connect the nation's MPA programs. The new members join the 10 continuing members appointed in 2012.