National Fisherman

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources and State Police hope new technology and harsher penalties will help crack down on illegal oyster harvesting in the Chesapeake Bay.

Poaching includes harvesting undersized oysters, exceeding bushel limits or harvesting in areas designated as sanctuaries.

Oyster poaching can undermine attempts at restoring oyster populations. Mostly due to overharvesting and disease, “currently less than 1 percent of historic levels of oysters exist in the bay,” Sarah Widman, a Department of Natural Resources Fishery spokeswoman said.

Poaching also compromises researchers’ ability to gather data. “It’s very frustrating from a scientific perspective,” said Don Meritt, director of the Horn Point Laboratory.

The oyster harvest season runs from Oct. 1 to the end of March.

Read the full story at the Capital News Service>>

Inside the Industry

NMFS recently released a draft action plan for fish discard and release mortality science, creating a list of actions that they hope can better inform fisheries.

We know that fishermen have to deal with bycatch by discarding or releasing unwanted catch overboard, but there is a data gap regarding how those fish survive.


A new study has identified a set of features common to all ocean ecosystems that provide a visual diagnosis of the health of the underwater environment coastal communities rely on.

Together, the features detail cumulative effects of threats -- such as overfishing, pollution, and invasive species,  allowing responders to act faster to increase ocean resiliency and sustainability.

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