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2017 Legislation


House Bill 924 – Natural Resources – Oyster Management – Prohibited Actions

  • The Oyster Advisory Commission (OAC) and Department of Natural Resources (DNR) are considering a proposal to open-up nearly 1,000 acres of Maryland’s protected oyster sanctuaries to harvest
  • Passing HB 924 will prevent the DNR from opening protected oyster sanctuaries to harvest or making any adjustments to oyster sanctuary boundary lines
  • There is currently a stock assessment of the oyster population being conducted and is to be completed by 2018 – any alteration of oyster sanctuaries will jeopardize the accuracy of the stock assessment
  • Once you open a sanctuary up to harvest, it is no longer a sanctuary!
  • Taxpayers have put MILLIONS of dollars into creating and placing oysters in sanctuaries  opening sanctuaries up for watermen to harvest would be a waste of taxpayer money
  • Not passing this bill will allow for DNR to make any changes to oyster sanctuaries they want, including creating a rotational harvest this upcoming oyster season!


House Bill 1488 Tidal Fish Licenses Oyster Authorizations  Revocation

  • This allows for watermen to apply to be reinstated after two years of having their license revoked for egregious commercial oyster harvesting violations
  • The Maryland General Assembly worked hard over many years to put the laws in place that created substantial penalties to protect Maryland’s commercial fisheries
  • Passing of this bill would make punishment be only a suspension

HB 1281/ SB 390 Oyster Poaching Administrative Penalties Gear Violations

  • Passing this bill reduces the penalties an offender faces for violating oyster harvest restrictions in state water