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02-06-2009, 08:00 AM
Md. to have $10 million in fishery aid by March

ANNAPOLIS — Representatives of Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources say the state will have $10 million dollars in federal fisheries disaster award money available in March.

The funding is intended to provide three years of aid to help those affected by the failure of the Chesapeake Bay’s soft shell and peeler blue crab fishery.

State officials tell state legislators the money will help fund programs such as oyster habitat rehabilitation, enforcement efforts and creation of economic opportunities such as environmental tourism for watermen.

U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin has said watermen are in desperate need of the relief because the blue crab population has declined 70 percent since the 1990s.