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

The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:

The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.

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Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, which governs commercial and recreational fishing in the state, got a new boss in January. Charlie Melancon, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislator, was appointed to the job by the state’s new governor, John Bel Edwards.

Although much of his non-political work in the past has centered on the state’s sugar cane industry, Melancon said he is confident that other experience, including working closely with fishermen when in Congress, has prepared him well for this new challenge.

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