Maryland Oysters in Danger from Gov. Hogan

Maryland oysters are exposed to danger again

The CBF (Chesapeake Bay Foundation) is requesting to allow oyster restoration to follow good science. CBF is ready to assess the long-awaited administration of the state’s management plan regarding oyster.

Governor Hogan is pursuing the progress by confirming the oyster’s management through science said CBF Maryland Executive Director, Alison Prost. The information about investing in oyster program was done and CBF requested to offer permit to pursue the work. Any disregard with respect to work restoration may not be in the best of the interest of the health bay or in the fishery sustainability was announced.

Nevertheless, Department of Natural Resources Secretary, Mark Belton said he will personally review the program of state’s oyster management. The review will be assessed for the first five years of the program that will be in three parts. The program was approved first in 2009 and the program confirmed:

  • Adding of sanctuary reefs so that the oysters could not be harvested.
  • Commitment to find oyster harvesting sustainable path.
  • Enhanced potential income for people wishing to farm oysters and watermen.

Belton publicly suggested the changes in the plan and considered the points noteworthy such as opening oyster reefs sanctuary to harvesting.
CBF believes science dictates changes done to the program and will consider if there is any scientific evidence justifying changes. Several important facts must be considered insists CBF prior to making any decision to alter the oyster management as the facts include:

  • The program is very new and may be considered the infancy stage. The ideal way to grow the population of oyster is by helping them to reproduce naturally. The best way is to build reef systems and allow nature enough time to work.
  • Maryland, non-profit partners and its federal completed an oyster reef, the largest in the Bay and there are two more large reefs under construction. These may become dynamos spreading for miles the larvae so that it populates even to far-flung reefs, thus benefit the ecosystem and the harvest.
  • The small reefs have not received much assistance from the state that it is unable to recover even after decades of harvesting, inferior water quality and disease. It makes no sense to open to harvest as it may be meager and the reefs structure may get more damaged that the recovery may be delayed to doubtful.

Maryland is committed to expand five more sanctuary reefs by 2025. Besides other large reefs are in the Tred Avon River and Choptan River. The scientists believe the oyster growth will spur beyond boundaries when the reefs function fully after few years.

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