Poachers Taking Big Chunk Out of Oyster Population

The fruit of a third of the work done by state agencies, organizations and fisheries to restore the oyster population in the Chesapeake Bay is being stolen through illegal harvesting, according to biologists who research oyster beds in the bay. Others say that number is even higher, closer to 80-percent of the managed reserves and sanctuaries. In all, fisheries Director Tom O’Connell said the state has invested about $50-million in oyster restoration since 1994. The oyster population is still around one-percent of historic numbers.