New Blue Catfish Regulation Threatening Health of Chesapeake Bay - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

New Blue Catfish Regulation Threatening Health of Chesapeake Bay and Business

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ST. MICHAELS, Md.- The blue catfish is putting up quite the fight and it's making Delmarva crabbers like Ryan Crouch frustrated.

"Every time you turn around, something's trying to change, something's different and nobody can ever leave the status quo alone," Crouch said.

A new federal regulation will make it harder for those who catch blue catfish to sell them.

The more catfish caught - the better off the crab population and the livelihoods of the watermen who catch them.

The invasive species is known to eat almost anything.

"It's just another nuisance yep, yep," Crouch said.

The regulation, which goes into effect in September, requires watermen to hire an inspector before the fish can be sold.

Watermen like Crouch and business owners like Joe Spurry Jr. of Bay Hundred Seafood are fighting this new regulation. They say the more catfish out of the bay, the more crabs there are to catch.

"The government is going to make a major decision that can force people out of business on the water and on the land," Spurry Jr. said.

WBOC reached out to the Food Safety and Inspection Service enforcing the new legislation to ask why. They told WBOC that Congress requires them to inspect wild-caught catfish.

Capt. Rob Newberry of the Delmarva Fisheries Association also plans to fight the new regulation.

"We've got lobbyists on the Hill too and we're getting the word out. It's just that we don't have the millions of dollars like they do," Newberry said.

More information can be found on the Delmarva Fisheries Association website.

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