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Oysters Need More Than Sanctuaries

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By Sabri Ben-Achour

The state's Department of Natural Resources hopes to make 25 percent of the Chesapeake bay off-limits to oyster fishing. Brian Frosh is a state Senator from Montgomery County, he says existing sanctuaries are already heavily poached

"People have been caught 2 or 3 times in a week, at 2 in the morning when you're not allowed to fish for oysters, in an oyster sanctuary, using illegal equipment. They're slapped on the wrist and go out the next morning and start all over again," says Frosh.

Frosh tried to pass a law that would automatically revoke the license of any waterman caught poaching. It was defeated. Larry Simms is president of the Maryland Waterman's association. He says there's already a crackdown on poaching and more laws aren't needed.

"Everybody's passing these laws to make themselves feel good and make the public think they're really doing somethin' and it ain't doing anything! Because it's not attacking the real problem," says Simms.

The real problem, he says, is pollution. Something Simms says the state has failed to control.

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