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Study Could Set Limits on Oyster Harvest

Don Rush

The Maryland state senate has approved a measure that would require the University of Maryland to set harvesting levels for the oysters in the Chesapeake Bay.

The aim is to create a sustainable stock of oysters for the future.  

The measure’s supporters say that the state’s oyster population is being over harvested.

But the seafood industry says the new measures would be too costly and are unnecessary.

The legislation is now pending in the House of Delegates.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the size of the oyster harvest dropped from 15 million in the late 19th century to around 26-thousand 12 years ago.

In in 2013 and 2014 the harvest was back up to 300-thousand.

The paper reports that with the end of the harvest season there is an expectation that the size will be lower this year because of recent poor reproduction.

Don Rush is the News Director at Delmarva Public Media. An award-winning journalist, Don reports major local issues of the day, from sea level rise, to urban development, to the changing demographics of Delmarva.