Watermen's First Day in Court Against DNR - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Watermen Face First Day in Court Against DNR


CAMBRIDGE, Md.- Two weeks after announcing a lawsuit again the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the Harvesters Land and Sea Coalition had their first day in court.

Wednesday's hearing was to determine whether or not the new menhaden fishery regulations should be temporarily lifted until the official proceedings in the spring.  The judge ruled that since the season was already coming to a close, watermen could not prove that there would be irreparable harm by keeping the fishery regulated.

Scott Todd, president of the Dorchester County Seafood Harvesters Association said he was disappointed in the decision.

"We're disappointed in this, we spent a lot of money on this and missed out on a day's work.  It's just a shame it didn't go the way we wanted it." said Todd.

Captain Rob Newberry with the coalition was more optimistic though.

"Far as I'm concerned, this was a great day for fisherman in the state of Maryland.  We could have very easily walked out of there with a no-no-no-no, and we basically got a continuance that they are going to hear our case." said Newberry.

Assistant State's Attorney General Jennifer Wazenski was representing the DNR at the hearing, and says the department is glad the regulations will be in place.

"We're gratified that the court did not grant a preliminary injunction on the department's menhaden regulations, and look forward to litigating the case fully on the merits." said Wazenski.

No court date has been selected yet for the trial to begin, although a springtime date is likely.

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