Maryland DNR Makes New Oyster Harvesting Proposal - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Maryland DNR Makes New Oyster Harvesting Proposal

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ST. MICHAELS, MD- Maryland could be seeing a shorter oyster season next year.
The DNR is proposing a 30-percent decrease in the amount of oysters allowed to be harvested.
The new regulation would mean harvesting season begins 10 days later than normal and end 10 days earlier. The agency believes this would help the bay revive the oyster population.
Some watermen criticize the plan saying it will negatively impact their work. But others say they’ll barely notice the change.
Understanding other watermen’s concerns, Waterman Guy Spurry says, “They’re just worried once they get their numbers down they won’t get them back. But right now we can’t catch our limit no way.”
Environmentalists are joining the debate too. While it may hurt watermen’s work, the oysters play a key part in filtering the bays water. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation agrees on the problem, but is skeptical of the solution.
“Starting the oyster season later may just delay the increased harvest activity typically seen at the beginning of the oyster season.” says Allison Colden, a scientist for CBF.
DNR’s secretary says the agency plans on issuing the regulations by Monday.
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