Differing Views on Oyster Limitations

The O’Malley Administration recently announced proposed restrictions on oyster harvesting, along with an aquaculture leasing program. In general, the proposed new rules were received well by environmental conservation stakeholders, but with skepticism from Maryland’s watermen. See below the differential coverage from Maryland’s major news outlets:

Baltimore Sun: O’Malley plans to limit oyster harvest

Washington Post: O’Malley proposes expanded oyster sanctuary : Md. plan bans harvest on 24% of best grounds, pushes shellfish farms

Brief excerpt from the Sun coverage:

“We can do better – we need to do better,” he said in outlining his plan at the Annapolis Maritime Museum, a former oyster packing house flanked by a marina. “Our economy needs this shot in the arm; our watermen need this shot in the arm.” But Jim Mullin, executive director of the 250-member Maryland Oystermen Association [and Cecil County Commissioner – mjs], called it “a sad day” because limiting harvest areas would hurt watermen who are already struggling to pay bills on diminished catches: “They’re going to take a culture and heritage and push it under the rug.”

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties

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