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>>
National Fisherman Live: 11/06/14
In this episode:
NOAA report touts 2013 landings, value increases
Panama fines GM salmon company Aquabounty
Gulf council passes Reef Fish Amendment 40
Maine elver quota cut by 2,000 pounds
Offshore mussel farm would be East Coast’s first