Chincoteague officials are preparing to respond to a plan that could put an end to commercial fishing, aquaculture and the horseshoe crab harvest within the boundaries of Assateague Island National Seashore.

Assateague Island National Seashore Superintendent Deborah Darden presented an overview of a draft general management plan for the national seashore — including the proposed prohibition on commercial seafood activities — to the Chincoteague Town Council on Thursday, Sept. 17.

“There is this regulation that says unless Congress says it’s specifically allowed, it’s not allowed. ... For 50 years, we have not enforced this,” Darden said, adding, “Our Washington folks are telling us that these are activities we should look at winding down.”

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