National Fisherman

CAMBRIDGE, Md.- A group of watermen took the day off work Thursday to protest and block a project by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources in the Little Choptank River in Dorchester County. 
 
They got a late start Thursday morning, but their catch of the day wasn't crab, it was a boat delivering workers to a barge in the Little Choptank River.  The watermen are opposed to the idea of putting a layer of fossilized oyster shells along 187 acres of clear bottom in the river to provide a hard substrate for oyster spat to cling to, creating a new oyster bed.  The DNR said this will provide an ecosystem for thousands of oysters which can further speed up efforts to clean the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries such as the Little Choptank, as well as provide a habitat for crabs and fish.
 
But watermen are not in agreement. They say the project would cover up the mud that crabs will soon be crawling out of, and make the area unharvestable in the future.
 
During Thursday's protests the watermen were in 11 boats and stopped a crane from putting the shells in the river at 6 a.m. Almost five hours later, the Maryland Environmental Service ordered the work to be shut down for the day, before even one shovelful had been out in the river.  Dwane Paul, a waterman from Church Creek, says the number of watermen and boats was instrumental in their success.
 
"I think it's gonna take that many and a lot more.  We need all the help we can get and now's the time to stand up for it." said Paul.
 
Read the full story at WBOC-TV>>

National Fisherman Live

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

 

Inside the Industry

EAST SAND ISLAND, Oregon—Alexa Piggott is crawling through a dark, dusty, narrow tunnel on this 62-acre island at the mouth of the Columbia River. On the ground above her head sit thousands of seabirds. Piggott, a crew leader with Bird Research Northwest, is headed for an observation blind from which she'll be able to count them.
 
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NOAA and its fellow Natural Resource Damage Assessment trustees in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill have announced the signing of a formal Record of Decision to implement a gulf restoration plan. The 44 projects, totaling an estimated $627 million, will restore barrier islands, shorelines, dunes, underwater grasses and oyster beds.

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