By Rex Springston
Virginia officials announced today a crackdown on oyster poaching.
The Virginia Marine Police will be looking for poachers by air, land and sea, officials said. The public oyster season opens tomorrow.
Oysters are making a comeback in Virginia, and that may be creating an attraction to poachers.
“More oysters in the water may tempt some unscrupulous watermen. If so, this is a warning. We will not allow these stocks to be plundered,” said Jack Travelstead, commissioner of the Virginia Marine Resources Commission.
The Marine Police is the commission's law enforcement division.
The Marine Police issued nearly 400 summonses for oyster poaching the past two years -- three times more than in the previous two years.
“This is an indication that poaching is on the rise,” said John Bull, a spokesman for the commission.