Md., Va. Race to Save Dwindling Commercial Fisheries in Chesapeake Bay

"Predatory invasive species are blamed for causing blue crab and other commercial stocks to drop significantly, prompting a renewed effort to remedy the situation."

"Alarmed by plummeting stocks of commercial fisheries in the Chesapeake Bay, officials in Maryland and Virginia are scrambling to control invasive fish species that are causing at least part of the problem.   

On Thursday, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore asked the federal government to carry out an evaluation to determine if the situation amounts to a declaration of a “commercial fishery disaster,” which would qualify the state for federal assistance.

In a letter to Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, Moore said the state is increasingly concerned about the explosive growth of invasive fish species in the Chesapeake Bay, including blue catfish, flathead catfish and snakehead. “There is mounting evidence around the deleterious impacts of these species on the native ecosystem and the communities dependent on the commercial fisheries,” Moore wrote.

The blue catfish, flathead catfish and snakehead were Introduced in Virginia in the 1970s to create a recreational fishery. They have since spread to tributaries throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed."

Aman Azhar reports for Inside Climate News March 17, 2023.


"Moore Seeks Disaster Aid For Chesapeake Bay Invasive Fish" (Maryland Matters)

Source: Inside Climate News, 03/20/2023