The Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) have investigated several reports of oyster poaching, which resulted in charges.
On December 2, 2009 in Dorchester County, the NRP charged an individual with harvesting oysters within an oyster sanctuary.
On November 24, 2009 in Somerset County, the NRP charged and individual with harvesting oysters within an oyster sanctuary.
Oyster Sanctuaries are protected areas for the propagation of oysters and do not allow the harvesting of oysters within the marked boundaries.
Recently, Governor Martin O’Malley released the details of Maryland’s Proposed Oyster Restoration and Aquaculture Development Plan, a new multi-faceted effort to rebuild Maryland’s decimated native oyster population. The plan will build on efforts expand oyster sanctuaries increase aquaculture leasing opportunities, while maintaining a more targeted, scientifically managed public fishery.
As part of the plan, DNR is undertaking a number of enforcement reforms, among them working with federal partners to install a network of radars and cameras that will help the NRP monitor oyster sanctuaries and prevent poaching.
“Our native oyster is part of the public trust,” said Governor Martin O’Malley, “and we have a clear and urgent responsibility to restore and protect this iconic species for future generations,” said Governor O’Malley.
source: DNR press release