Watermen’s Group Leaves Crab Management Talks

CENTREVILLE, Md. (AP) — A watermen’s group has stopped participating in discussions on crab management with the group’s head saying members oppose proposals for a catch-share system.

The Chesapeake Bay Commercial Fishermen’s Association voted last month to pull out of the Blue Crab Industry Design Team formed in March. Other members include the Environmental Defense Fund and the state Department of Natural Resources.

Association president Gibby Dean says EDF has been pushing catch shares nationwide and continued to support the approach in the talks despite opposition in Maryland. Dean says he hopes to continue talks with the Department of Natural Resources.

Catch share systems set a harvest limit and divide that amount among fishermen, who can then catch, sell or lease their shares.

Opponents say it gives an advantage to larger, non-local operations.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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