OCEAN CITY — The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has proposed to suspend the fishing privileges of 60 recreational anglers for violating Maryland’s fisheries laws.
The suspensions were proposed due to violations that include taking fish during closed seasons, taking fish during spawning seasons, taking fish in closed areas, exceeding daily catch limits and possession of female crabs.
“These are acts that violate the public’s trust,” said DNR Secretary John Griffin. “These suspensions serve as a warning to any would-be violators that we take any disregard for the laws to protect our fisheries very seriously.”
Recreational fishermen who commit violations are eligible for suspensions ranging from 30 to 365 days, which become effective 30 days after the notice is mailed. All individuals have the opportunity to request an administrative hearing in front of an administrative law judge regarding their suspensions, which may result in the lessening or elimination of the suspension. The judge may also uphold the department’s suspension, it which case the suspension would not become effective until after the hearing.
Over the past few years, the DNR has ramped up its enforcement and penalties of Maryland’s commercial and recreational fisheries regulations to maintain sustainable fisheries and better serve the citizens and businesses that rely on them to make a living. The DNR was given the power to suspend or revoke recreational fishing licenses with the passage of Senate Bill 164 in 2009.