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NEWS
April 7, 2009
Maryland's blue crab season opened officially this month with some skittering apprehensions. Not only are Chesapeake Bay hard crabs expected to be in short supply but consumer demand for such a premium product may prove soft given the country's economic realities. But those concerns will be a trifle for the local seafood industry if Congress fails to extend the guest worker program for another season. Most of the state's 22 crab processing plants depend on roughly 600 foreign workers to pick crabs.
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NEWS
By John Fritze and The Baltimore Sun | July 25, 2014
WASHINGTON -- Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski joined with Virginia lawmakers on Friday in requesting the Obama administration step up enforcement of seafood processors that are fraudulently labeling imported crab meat as a product of the Chesapeake Bay. In a letter to President Barack Obama, Mikulski asked that deceptive labeling be included as a focus of a task force created by the White House in June to address illegal fishing. The Maryland Democrat also requested a briefing on the issue from federal agencies.
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NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler and Timothy B. Wheeler,SUN STAFF | August 30, 1996
A crackdown by Maryland Natural Resources Police on shipments of small crabs to Maryland from New Jersey and North Carolina has upset seafood processors, who complain the tough stance threatens their industry's survival amid a dismal Chesapeake Bay catch this summer.Seafood processors, shippers and watermen met Wednesday night in Cambridge with state Department of Natural Resources officials to air their concerns over the enforcement dragnet, which has resulted in fines exceeding $65,000 for illegally imported crabs.
NEWS
By Eric Schwaab and Michael Hirshfield | June 26, 2014
At the State Department's "Our Ocean" conference last week, President Barack Obama announced new plans to tackle seafood fraud and illegal fishing. Increased transparency and traceability of the seafood supply chain is a critical next step in sustaining fisheries management progress in the U.S. and abroad. Failure to fully address these problems will continue to undercut the progress that the U.S. and other nations have made to end overfishing and rebuild depleted fish stocks. According to a new study of the top U.S. seafood imports, an estimated 20 to 32 percent of the wild-caught seafood crossing our borders was found to have originated from illegal sources.
BUSINESS
By Liz Bowie and Gary Gately and Liz Bowie and Gary Gately,SUN STAFF Staff writers Del Quentin Wilber, Melody Simmons and Dan Thanh Dang contributed to this article | October 4, 1997
A fear with no basis in scientific fact has continued to ravage Maryland's seafood industry, causing hardship for people as diverse as watermen and chefs.Despite continued pronouncements that eating Maryland seafood is safe, numerous grocery store chains, small fish markets, wholesalers and restaurants reported yesterday that seafood sales have declined up to 70 percent since the microorganism Pfiesteria piscicida was identified in Chesapeake Bay tributaries.The state will begin a $500,000 TV and print advertising campaign next week in an attempt to counter myths and restore confidence in the safety of the $400 million-a-year industry.
NEWS
By Joel McCord and Joel McCord,SUN STAFF | September 28, 1999
WASHINGTON -- The recovery of Maryland's seafood industry from the scare caused by an outbreak of toxic Pfiesteria piscicida two years ago is only tentative, and the industry could easily be threated by another occurrence, according to a University of Delaware survey released yesterday.The survey, conducted in fall 1998, shows that nearly two-thirds of the residents of the mid-Atlantic region believe that seafood is unsafe to eat because of Pfiesteria outbreaks, and that more than half said they would cut their consumption of local seafood if an outbreak occurred in their state's waters.
NEWS
By Los Angeles Times | February 27, 1992
Preliminary results from the federal government's first complete inspection of American seafood processing facilities show that as many as 20 percent of the samples analyzed showed evidence of microbiological contamination, decomposition and filth.The as-yet unpublished findings, by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's newly created Office of Seafood in Washington, indicate that the seafood industry has yet to solve a host of product safety problems.The inspections also found evidence of economic fraud.
NEWS
By Rona Kobell and Rona Kobell,SUN STAFF | February 1, 2005
Maryland seafood processors and advocates for the Hispanic community are working together to solve a labor shortage that could cripple the summer crab-picking season. The seafood processors learned last month that most of the temporary workers who have picked crabs and shucked oysters for more than a decade would not be able to return to their seasonal jobs this year. The workers are being denied entry because of a nationwide limit that Congress established for the number of seasonal working permits, known as H-2B visas.
NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler and Timothy B. Wheeler,Sun Staff Writer Sun staff writer Frank Langfitt contributed to this article | September 13, 1995
Gov. Parris N. Glendening agreed last night to change his proposed crabbing restrictions in a bid to ease the economic bite on Maryland watermen.Officials said the changes still would protect Chesapeake Bay's blue crab population, which has been under pressure in recent years, raising fears that the species is in danger of depletion.Responding to complaints from watermen and seafood industry officials, the governor agreed to amend his original proposal, which called for barring commercial and recreational crabbing two days a week this fall, starting Friday.
FEATURES
By Daniel P. Puzo and Daniel P. Puzo,Los Angeles Times | September 18, 1991
If a Washington-based consumer advocacy group has its way, supermarkets, restaurants and other places selling molluskan shellfish will have to post signs warning that raw or partially cooked oysters, clams or mussels may cause "acute illness and even death" from microbiological contamination in certain high-risk individuals.Those individuals considered to be at greatest danger of food poisoning include people with cancer, diabetes, liver disease, alcoholism, AIDS and kidney disease.Public Voice for Food & Health Policy recently petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to mandate the cautionary labels in order to counter what it calls inadequate government regulation of certain shellfish species.
FEATURES
By Carrie Wells, The Baltimore Sun | March 14, 2013
Larry Simns, who founded and led the Maryland Watermen's Association for four decades and was a key influence on efforts to reduce pollution in the Chesapeake Bay, died Thursday. He was 75. Mr. Simns, who grew up in the Eastern Shore fishing village of Rock Hall, was the public face of watermen, who saw their once-heavy catches of blue crabs and oysters becoming ever lighter as pollution crept into the bay. In the 1970s, he met with then-Sen. Charles McC. Mathias of Maryland, who was on a mission to examine the bay's environmental condition.
NEWS
May 31, 2012
On the wave of unwanted publicity over unruly youths downtown, owners of businesses around the Inner Harbor were probably none too thrilled to have the smell of dead fish wafting through the air last weekend. Naturally, they brushed it off as having no impact on tourism - but you can bet that the odor was about as welcome as another Pat McDonough press conference. The likely culprit was mahogany tide, an algae that feeds on excess nutrients. This creates huge blooms that eventually die, rot and suck the oxygen out of the water, leaving other forms of aquatic life to suffocate.
NEWS
By Ross Eisenbrey | October 24, 2011
The Obama Labor Department has established a fair and simple requirement for issuing H-2B visas: Employers must first offer jobs to U.S. workers, at the prevailing wage in their community, before they can get permission to import foreign workers. This is good news for U.S. workers, since the H-2B visa allows about 66,000 foreign workers a year to take jobs unemployed Americans could do. It's a major improvement over the Bush-era regulation under which employers could offer substantially lower wages to U.S. workers and then recruit for guest workers outside the country.
NEWS
By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun | September 15, 2011
Jack Brooks and other leaders of Maryland's seafood industry have faced the same problem for more than a decade: a shortage of seasonal foreign workers to pick out the morsels of crab meat that wind up on dinner plates across the country. But this summer, Brooks and the operators of other Eastern Shore picking houses are dealing with an entirely different challenge. Brooks has plenty of workers, but he's not sure whether he'll be able to afford to keep them. Seafood processors along the East Coast are steamed about a new Labor Department requirement that would force businesses that use foreign workers to increase their wages by as much as 50 percent.
FEATURES
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | May 28, 2010
The huge oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico is beginning to be felt in Maryland, as the state's seafood businesses say fisheries' shutdowns in Louisiana waters have pinched off a major source of oysters and domestic shrimp, driving up prices in the process. Gulf crabs, which grace many a late-spring feast in Maryland, are still available, say wholesalers and restaurateurs. But don't expect any price breaks at the crab house or market, because the predicted boom in Chesapeake Bay crustaceans hasn't shown up yet in local waters.
FEATURES
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | May 21, 2010
Vowing to restore the Chesapeake Bay's disease-ravaged oysters and the industry that once thrived on them, Gov. Martin O'Malley announced Friday that he would proceed with a plan to more than double the state's network of oyster sanctuaries while offering to lease vast areas of the bay for private aquaculture. Speaking to a crowd of state officials, environmentalists and others at the Annapolis Maritime Museum — site of the last oyster packing house to close in the capital — O'Malley called the regulations he plans to propose next week "the turning point" in the long, troubled history of the bay's iconic bivalve and of the state's seafood industry.
NEWS
By Lorraine Mirabella and Lorraine Mirabella,Staff writer | June 21, 1991
Next time you think hot dogs for that Sunday afternoon picnic, stateand seafood industry officials would like you to think Maryland bluecrabs instead.The world-famous Chesapeake Bay crustaceans are practically crawling out of the bay, said Bill Sieling, chief of seafood marketing at the state Department of Agriculture.Because of the abundance, consumers can buy crabs at prices aboutone-fifth to one-third less than last year's, Sieling said at a newsconference yesterday at the Maryland Waterman's Cooperative in Eastport.
NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler and Timothy B. Wheeler,tim.wheeler@baltsun.com | April 7, 2009
Proposals to use a foreign species to restore the Chesapeake Bay's depleted oyster population were essentially scrapped Monday as state and federal governments agreed to focus on bringing back the native oyster. Maryland, Virginia and federal agencies announced that they remain "fully committed" to using only native oysters, even in trying to help rebuild the bay's seafood industry. Using non-native oysters poses "unacceptable ecological risks," officials said. The decision ends years of debate about whether to introduce an Asian oyster into the bay and concludes nearly five years of formal study, costing $17 million in state and federal funds.
FEATURES
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | April 30, 2010
The oil that began washing ashore Friday in Louisiana could devastate one of the richest coastal ecosystems in the country and cripple a major source of the nation's seafood, a top Maryland scientist warns. But Donald F. Boesch, president of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, said a rush to clean up oil smothering sensitive wetlands could risk further damage if not done right. Fish and shellfish, shorebirds and waterfowl, sea turtles and a host of other wildlife are at risk from the more than 200,000 gallons of oil pumping daily out of the ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico 50 miles off the Louisiana coast.
NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler and Timothy B. Wheeler,tim.wheeler@baltsun.com | April 7, 2009
Proposals to use a foreign species to restore the Chesapeake Bay's depleted oyster population were essentially scrapped Monday as state and federal governments agreed to focus on bringing back the native oyster. Maryland, Virginia and federal agencies announced that they remain "fully committed" to using only native oysters, even in trying to help rebuild the bay's seafood industry. Using non-native oysters poses "unacceptable ecological risks," officials said. The decision ends years of debate about whether to introduce an Asian oyster into the bay and concludes nearly five years of formal study, costing $17 million in state and federal funds.
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