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NRP Charges Crisfield Waterman with Seven Oyster Violations

Natural Resources Police LogoThe Maryland Natural Resources Police charged a Crisfield waterman on Thursday afternoon with possession of seven bushels of undersized oysters.

“On the water, from the air and on land, NRP officers are making it clear that oyster poaching will not be tolerated,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “Poaching oysters not only robs Maryland citizens and law abiding watermen of this important resource, it hampers our efforts to restore the health of our Bay.”

An officer stopped a pick-up truck on Main Street in Crisfield after seeing what he believed to be undersized oysters in the bed and no tidal fish license number on the truck. He and another officer culled the entire load and found that the bushels contained from seven to 24 percent undersized oysters.

Paul Franklin Tyler III, 28, received seven citations, with fines totaling $2,115. The undersized oysters were confiscated and returned to Manokin Sanctuary.

Tyler is scheduled to appear in Somerset District Court on June 10.

Enhanced enforcement is a major component of Governor Martin O’Malley’s Oyster Restoration and Aquaculture Development Plan to protect these resources and their habitat. The State is carrying out and making significant progress under the plan.

The State is committed to protecting Maryland’s oyster resources and their habitat, ensuring progress under Governor Martin O’Malley’s Oyster Restoration and Aquaculture Development Plan through efforts including enhanced enforcement.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the Office of the Attorney General and the District Court of Maryland have expanded a successful program highlighting natural resources cases to 18 of Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions. Under the program, cases including fishing, hunting, boating and tree expert violations are heard on a specific day each month in the region where they occurred, and prosecuted by a designated regional State’s Attorney. NRP is working to have natural resource dockets put in place in the remaining six areas ─ Frederick, Harford, Montgomery, Prince George’s, and Washington counties, and Baltimore City ─ by 2015.