Bay Journal

Topics: Fisheries

MD lawmakers override Hogan’s veto, protect oyster sanctuaries undergoing restoration

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The Maryland General Assembly on Monday overrode Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto of legislation aimed at preventing harvests from oyster sanctuaries in five Chesapeake Bay tributaries that the state has targeted for large-scale restoration.

By a narrow margin, the Senate mustered the three-fifths majority needed to overcome Hogan’s bid last week to block the oyster sanctuary bill. The vote in the chamber was 29 to 16. The House had voted more emphatically, 96-43, on Friday to override Hogan’s veto.

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About Fisheries

Acre for acre, the Chesapeake Bay is one of the most productive water bodies on the planet when it comes to fish. Populations of the native striped bass and nonnative blue catfish have risen dramatically in recent decades, while blue crabs appear to be on the road to recovery.

Recent interest in aquaculture has sharply increased commercial production of oysters from the Chesapeake. Nonetheless, problems such as historic overfishing, habitat loss and disease have reduced the abundance of some iconic species such as wild oyster populations, American shad and river herring, American eels and Atlantic sturgeon to near record-low levels. In the headwaters, brook trout have suffered major habitat losses.

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