National Fisherman

Clifton Wilson, an inmate at the state's Eastern Pre-Release Unit, spent last week in the great outdoors, relocating oysters from cages on private piers near Thomas Point on the Chesapeake Bay to a sanctuary in nearby Glebe Bay.
To the North East resident, it was a throwback to growing up near waters teeming with wildlife.
For state officials eager to help rebuild the oyster population, Wilson's work was an example of getting people involved in the Marylanders Grow Oysters program. Launched by Gov. Martin O'Malley in 2008, the program allows people from all walks of life to nurture oysters from infancy and then set them in waters closed to harvesting.
More than 1,000 waterfront property owners grow oysters in cages suspended from their piers and immersed in shallow waters. The cages are also made by inmates, and on Thursday, a few from the Eastern Pre-Release Unit took part in pulling dozens of the mud-covered cages from the waters.
"I was born on the water. My grandfather's house is like a museum down in North East. When I was a kid, there was everything out on the water — oysters, clams and fish," said Wilson, 59, on Thursday. "Now it's getting really bad, depleted.
Read the full story at Baltimore Sun >>

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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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