"As Oyster War Heats Up, Maryland Cracks Down on Poachers"
"CHESTERTOWN, MD. -- The first time there was a war over the Chesapeake Bay's oysters -- in the 1800s -- it started because there were so many of the shellfish. For a share of the fortune on the bay's floor, watermen fought police and one another with rifles and cannons.
This year's oyster war is being fought with cellphones, glow sticks, fast boats and night-vision technology, but for the opposite reason.
Maryland, trying to protect a species whose ranks have declined by 99 percent, is cracking down on watermen who catch oysters in protected sanctuaries or with banned equipment. Over the winter, officers with the Maryland Natural Resources Police conducted undercover surveillance operations in small fishing towns and on rivers, hiding on patrol boats in the dark."
David A. Fahrenthold reports for the Washington Post March 23, 2010.