“Science seems to be the monster here,” Pluta said. “Science doesn’t necessarily define the rules of fishery management; DNR does that and they should do that ... What science does is it really provides the guardrails for which we can operate within, and once we have those guardrails, all of the knowledge from the watermen, all of the knowledge out there should be used to identify what the rules for the fishery are.”
Pluta said although all scientific data concerning the fishery points to the necessity of a moratorium, he does not see that as being a path forward. He said a moratorium would be viewed as a failure, not just for watermen but for conservationists, as well.
“Nobody wants a moratorium. A moratorium would be seen as a failure for the management, and nobody wants to see that,” Pluta said. “We think a collaborative approach is the best approach, and science should be included.”
“It looks bad in the rearview mirror if you look back over what’s happened. You lose $1 million worth of oyster restoration — $1 million coming into our economy; jobs, clean water,” Horstman said. “I think we need to start applying the science-based harvesting to what’s left of our oyster population.”
READ MORE: StarDem.com, March 6, 2016