With Poaching on Rise, Oyster Season Opens in VA - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

With Poaching on Rise, Oyster Season Opens in VA

Posted: Updated:
Virginia Oyster, photo courtesy of virginiaoysters.org Virginia Oyster, photo courtesy of virginiaoysters.org

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - With Virginia oyster stocks on the rise, so is poaching - and that has caught the attention of regulators.

The public oyster season opens Tuesday and the Virginia Marine Police are taking aim at what they call an epidemic of poaching. Last month, for instance, the Virginia Marine Resources Commission revoked the fishing licenses of five commercial oyster harvesters who pleaded guilty to poaching by overharvesting.

Marine Police will seek out oyster poachers by air, land and sea. The force has dedicated officers to seek out offenders as a top priority.

One attraction for poachers is the tenfold increase in the state's oyster harvest in the past decade, although oysters are still only a fraction of historic highs in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Sign Up for Email Alerts

    Sign up to receive NBC29 news and weather updates in your inbox daily.

    * denotes required fields

    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WVIR. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.