ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — A Maryland agency is proposing a 30% reduction in the amount of oysters that can be harvested in the next season.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources presented the recommendations at an Oyster Advisory Commission meeting Monday night, followed by public comment.

The proposal would delay next month’s start of the commercial season by 10 days. It also would shave 10 days from the end of the season in March.

Watermen in attendance criticized the plan. They say cutting that deep into the days of harvest will cause them to lose markets.

But environmentalists say oysters are at historic lows in the Chesapeake Bay and play an important role in filtering the bay’s waters.

DNR Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio says the agency plans to issue regulations by next Monday.

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