Watermen Group Suing DNR - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Watermen Group Suing DNR


Chestertown, Md.- Harvesters land and sea coalition, a recently created group of watermen and farmers, has filed a lawsuit against the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

In a press release, the group stated that recent regulations that cut the Menhaden quota were taken so that Maryland could receive a federal grant.

Captain Robert Newberry, the spokesperson for the group says the Chesapeake Bay should not be regulated the same way the Atlantic Ocean is.

"All we want to do is be able to continue our way of living, and catch our fish and make our living and feed our families.  Because you know, it's a good way of life, and that's the way we like it." said Newberry.

The Attorney General released a statement late Monday, stating that the regulations were in fact lawful.

"An order preventing enforcement of these regulations could result in a total moratorium on Maryland's menhaden fishery imposed by the U.S. Department of Commerce. This would affect all commercial watermen who fish for menhaden as well as recreational and commercial anglers who use menhaden for bait.  The consequences of violating federal law and interstate compact are potentially grave and vastly outweigh the speculative harm alleged by the Plaintiffs. " said the Attorney General in the statement.

Newberry says the regulations aren't fair.

"600 million pounds went to Virginia.  Maryland got 5.3 million.  It's just not fair.  They should have said let's try to get some more for our fishery." said Newberry.

No court date has been announced yet.

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