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MD watermen want 14,000 acres of oyster sanctuary open to harvesting

The debate over Maryland’s oyster management is heating up, as watermen are pushing to open 14,000 acres of the state’s extensive sanctuary network to harvest.

Only about 1,340 of those acres actually have oysters on them, Department of Natural Resources officials said. But they include opening to harvest part of a river that’s undergone large-scale, publicly funded restoration of its reefs and oyster population.
The proposals, outlined at a meeting of the DNR’s Oyster Advisory Commission in November, drew immediate pushback from environmentalists and scientists. And a federal fisheries official warned that granting watermen’s request to open portions of the Little Choptank River could undermine oyster repopulation efforts under way as part of Maryland’s commitment to the Chesapeake Bay restoration.

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  • Timothy B. Wheeler
  • Fisheries

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Chesapeake Bay Week on MPT

The Bay Journal is a partner in the second Chesapeake Bay Summit, a discussion about key issues in the Bay restoration hosted by Maryland Public Television during Chesapeake Bay Week. This year, the Summit aired on April 27 and focused on the challenges of growth and development. Watch it here, and read the following articles related to the 2015 Summit:

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