The $1 million to create oyster sanctuaries and harvest areas on the Eastern Shore is courtesy of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, or as it commonly known: the stimulus bill.
The $500,000 and $380,000 to train crabbers in oyster aquaculture comes from a federal crab disaster declaration made in the fall of 2008. Bull, the VRMC’s spokesman, explained that oysters filter water. Therefore, they make the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries healthier for crabs. So, training crabbers to farm oysters will ultimately help the crab population.
Here’s a follow on Feb. tommy hilfiger uk 19’s post in which I addressed why the number of blue crabs watermen are reporting finding in ghost crab pots far outpaces numbers from 2008 09.
There are a number of theories.
Kirk Havens, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science researcher who runs the ghost pot removal program, has another. Unlike 2008 09, most watermen retrieved pots in December tommy hilfiger uk before the crabs burrowed themselves in the muck beneath the water. This, he said, is the most probable explanation for the boost in crabs.
Posted by Cory Nealon at 8:45 AM Permalink
CommentsWhat the replenishment plan doesn’t address but VMRC oyster scientist Jim Wesson talked about Tuesday are the panel’s other recommendations. Chief among them that Virginia contribute $2.5 million annually to restore oysters, which are hampered by disease, loss of habitat, and years of overfishing.
After dedicating an average of $859,000 from 2000 to 2008 for oyster replenishment, the state eliminated funding last year. Under a crippling budget, it plans to do the same this year. The panel stated that Virginia should view federal funds as a supplement, not replacement, to state funds.
The state’s decision to halt funding for oyster restoration has upset watermen, and oyster farmers, including Tommy Leggett.
“We’ve still got an industry that needs to function,” said Leggett, who doubles as an oyster scientist for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. “I think it sends a bad signal that the state is not investing in its own resource.”
Oyster aquaculture is a budding industry, he said, adding that subsidies will increase that growth.
The cuts could affect oyster processors, too. The state typically buys shells shucked by large tommy hilfiger uk packing houses and distributes them back into Virginia’s waters. There is l tommy hilfiger uk egislation pending in the General Assembly to restore this funding, Wesson said. If not approved, he will try to arrange for Maryland to buy the shells.
Virginia anglers will be allowed to catch smaller and more summer flounder under guidelines approved Tuesday by the state Marine Resource Commission.
The commission lowered the size limit to 18 1/2 inches, down from 19 inches in 2009.
The action follows the second consecutive year that anglers failed to reach the flounder quota. The reported catch last year was 241,000; the allowance was 345,000. Commission staffers said many anglers caught flounder but had to release them because they were too small.
The message being that salinity levels in the York have been as low as its neighbor to the north. Lower salinity levels means less deadly diseases, such as MSX and Dermo, which thrive in the bay’s saltier waters.
The rain has negative impacts; it carries pollutants and sediment into the bay and its tributaries, which make it difficult for oysters to survive.
So the forecast, for now, appears to be good on the York.
Posted by Cory Nealon at 10:13 AM Permalink
CommentsVirginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli angered environmentalists last week by announcing he would challenge the Environmental Protection Agency’s effort to regulate greenhouse gases.