MD Blue Crab Design Team Exhibits at Recent Watermen Expo, Shares Plans for Pilot Accountability System

Every year, the Maryland Watermen’s Association hosts a commercial fishermen and aquaculture trade expo attracting hundreds of fishermen and watermen from along the east coast. This year’s recent 38th annual Expo in Ocean City, MD included an exhibit from the Maryland Blue Crab Design Team.  The Design Team, an industry-led task force EDF helped organize, participated in the expo for the opportunity to keep the larger watermen community informed and gain feedback on the collective process to develop long-term solutions for Maryland’s blue crab industry.

Twenty-four Design Team members spoke with over 100 interested watermen and other stakeholders about the Design Team’s vision and goals.  Most recently the Team has been developing a pilot program to test electronic reporting technologies to advance watermen accountability in the fishery and promote the health of the blue crab resource and the businesses that depend on it.  This pilot aims to improve the timing and accuracy of harvest data to fisheries managers. It will mark a major step forward in building a more sustainable fishery leading to a more viable future for the blue crab industry.  The pilot project is expected to be up and running by midyear.

As a partner in this industry-led process, EDF congratulates and applauds Design Team members and the larger watermen community for taking a proactive and productive role in strengthening their industry and the resource they depend on. Their hard work on the road to designing a new vision for the blue crab fishery will help sustain its recovery and ensure a viable livelihood for watermen in years to come.

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