Pirate Poachers of the Chesapeake: New raids on oyster sanctuaries; profiles of culprits reveal they are simply criminals in every respect
Pirate Poachers of the Chesapeake: New raids on oyster sanctuaries; profiles of culprits reveal they are simply criminals in every respect – The lawless and piratical instincts of outlaw watermen of the Chesapeake Bay may very well be inherited from the vicious and bloodthirsty pirates of the 17th and 18th centuries and certainly dates back to the 19th and 20th century oyster wars.
Oyster pirates fired cannon and rifles at Maryland Oyster Police and in 1879 Virginia sent a fleet carrying armed militia to capture and sink Maryland oyster pirates that had invaded Virginia waters in the dead of night.
Two years ago, Maryland’s General Assembly established oyster sanctuaries in various locations in Maryland waters in an attempt to reverse a one hundred year trend of diminishing bivalves.
In spite of the new laws setting aside areas of oysters for replenishment, a determined segment of the Maryland watermen and seafood industry has repeatedly violated the boundaries of the sanctuaries