Four new possible Fisheries regulations are now posted online at http://www.dnr.maryland.gov/fisheries/regulations/draftregulations.asp.
The public comment period for these subjects ends October 25, 2013.
Oyster Shell Pricing
The Department is required by regulation to annually asses the market price for shell, and to set the price paid to shucking houses based upon this assessment. The Department is proposing to increase the price paid for shells from $0.50 per bushel to $2.00 per bushel.
For more information regarding the background of oyster shell pricing, please click here.
Current Shellfish Aquaculture Harvester Permit (SAHP) regulations require leaseholders to register anyone other than SAHP permittees, engaging in aquaculture activities while on a lease, with the Department. This requirement has made it difficult for leaseholders to utilize short term/temporary workers on their lease sites. The Department is interested in amending existing regulations to provide leaseholders with more flexibility in utilizing temporary workers on their leases and without having to register each individual under the SAHP.
As a result of the last ASMFC Board meeting, there will be several changes to eel regulations in Maryland. A coastwide minimum mesh size of ½” x ½” mesh will be required for all eel pots. There will be a 3 year phase in period where an escape panel of ½” x ½” (16 square inches) can be used on smaller mesh pots (this is the current regulation Maryland has in place). The only change will be that after 2016, the escape panels will no longer be allowed and the whole pot must be the minimum mesh size. Additionally, there will be a prohibition of harvest of American eels from gears other than pots, traps, and spears from September 1 to December 31. Therefore the harvest of eels in the Fall with fyke nets and pound nets would no longer be permitted. The minimum size for eels will also be raised from 6″ to 9″.
Reporting requirements would be added for menhaden harvest during the unlimited fishery season. This will put Maryland in compliance with ASMFC’s Menhaden FMP. Additionally, this will allow DNR to better manage the quota.
Comments can be sent to DNR at – email@example.com