New Watermen Association Growing

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
27 January 2010, at 12:00am

US - More than 100 Eastern Shore watermen have formed a new lobbying group called the Chesapeake Bay Commercial Fishermen's Association.

Members told the that the Maryland Watermen's Association hasn't adequately represented their interests.

Gibby Dean, a charter boat captain from Hurlock, will serve as president of the association. Mr Dean says watermen need "a new start" in their relationships with lawmakers in Annapolis and that representing themselves is the best option. He says his job will be to work with lawmakers to preserve watermen's way of life.

The new group is concerned about Governor Martin O'Malley's plan to expand oyster sanctuaries. Environmentalists and scientists have cheered the plan, but watermen believe it will endanger their livelihoods.