Gill Nets on the Chopping Block in Annapolis - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Gill Nets on the Chopping Block in Annapolis

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Last year tons of rockfish were pulled from the Chesapeake Bay with illegal gill nets. That has led to a bill before the legislature that would ban those type of nets. The Maryland Saltwater Sportfishermen's Association is behind the bill, and says if approved it will help save the fish population in the bay. 

"What this will do is once we get the nets out of the water, this will improve and enhance our fisheries for recreational anglers, commercial anglers and anybody who is making a living off of the resource," said MSSA Executive Director Dave Smith. 

The MSSA sees this bill as a positive for all, but some commercial watermen worry that without gill nets they are the ones who will be left caught up. Several watermen showed up in Annapolis on Tuesday to voice their displeasure with the bill. Gibby Dean said watermen will like him suffer if they cannot use gill nets. 

"We're opposing this bill because we have taken several steps to help combat illegal fishing as has DNR," said Dean. "We don't think the other 99 percent of our honest hard working watermen should have to pay the price for this."

Elijay Wilson also traveled to Annapolis to oppose this bill. He said that if the bill passes, a lot of people could be out of a job.

"With the economic times and the stuff we have now, we need all the jobs we can get," said Wilson. "If this bill passes it will put a lot of people out of business."

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