Maryland releases oyster harvest limits: 26% reduction goal

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland officials say regulations for the upcoming oyster season aim to reduce the harvest by 26%.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources released the final harvest limits Monday.

The department eased up some on limits it proposed last week, after watermen criticized the proposal at a meeting. Those regulations would have reduced the harvest by an estimated 30%.

The proposal outlined last week would have delayed the season until Oct. 15, but it will now begin Oct. 1. However, there will be no commercial harvesting on Wednesdays.

This season is the first since the release of the state’s first oyster stock assessment. It estimated that market-sized oysters dropped from 600 million in 1999 to about 300 million in the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay in 2018.

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