Statements on Oyster Health Improvements and Poaching Legislation

Press Statement
February 8, 2011

CBF Issues Statements on Oyster Health Improvements and Poaching Legislation

(ANNAPOLIS, MD)���In response to the good news concerning oyster reproduction and the impacts of oyster diseases, Kim Coble, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Maryland Executive Director, issued the following statement:

"Today's good news about high oyster reproduction and lower disease mortality offers a clear indication that Maryland's oyster management strategies will pay big dividends. While it is too soon to predict with certainty, scientific management strategies like Governor O'Malley's sanctuary efforts offer the best chance to develop a strong, vibrant oyster population in the Chesapeake Bay. Those strategies and reducing pollution to improve water quality will be key to the future health of the Bay."

Today the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee is holding a hearing on legislation that would give the Department of Natural Resources additional tools to combat oyster poaching. Concerning that bill Coble said:

"Poaching is a serious problem for the Bay's beleaguered oyster population, and CBF believes that poachers should suffer significant consequences. Senator Frosh's legislation gives DNR the ability to revoke the license of any waterman who is knowingly in clear violation of the law. Strong punishment both suits the crime and serves as an important deterrent to such activity."

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