SOLOMONS, Md. (AP) — A new study recommends a moratorium on oyster harvesting in Maryland.

The study by the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science finds that the bay’s oyster population has dropped to less than one percent of what it was before intensive commercial harvesting began in the late 1800s. And despite that drop, watermen are still taking too many.

The Baltimore Sun reported Thursday that Natural Resources Secretary John R. Griffin issued a statement saying state officials don’t believe a moratorium is needed now, noting the state has set aside 24 percent of the remaining oyster reefs in sanctuaries and increased poaching penalties.

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


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