Don Rush

For those engaged in commercial fishing, aquaculture and the horseshoe crab harvest in the Assateague Island National Seashore that activity could be banned.

Park superintendent Deborah Darden told the Chincoteague Town Council last week that she has been told these are activities that should be wound down.

She said that federal regulations say that if Congress does not specifically authorize such activity then it should be banned.

Darden noted that over the last half century that has not been observed.

creative commons

LOTTSBURG, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Farm Bureau says the state's oyster harvest rose 25 percent last year, passing the 500,000-bushel mark.

Officials say more than 504,000 bushels of oysters were harvested during the 2013-2014 season, up from almost 409,000 bushels in the previous season. The latest harvest is the largest since 1987.

The dockside value of that harvest increased to $22.2 million, with an estimated economic impact of more than $58 million.

patrick nouhailler / creative commons

HAMPTON, Va. (AP) - Gov. Terry McAuliffe has signed an executive order that continues the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program.

McAuliffe signed the order Tuesday in Hampton.

The program is a network of state agencies and local governments that's designed to protect the natural and economic assets in Virginia's coastal regions.

The Department of Environmental Quality serves as the lead agency for the program.

creative commons

LEWES, Del. (AP) - State environmental officials are continuing to seek public input on developing regulations for shellfish aquaculture in Delaware's inland bays.

Officials planned to hold a second public workshop Wednesday evening at the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control field facility on Pilottown Road in Lewes. 

The workshop is intended to gather additional public input before proposed regulations are formally initiated.

creative commons wikimedia

REHOBOTH, Del. (AP) - Delaware's status as the only state on the East Coast that does not have a shellfish aquaculture industry is about to end.

A bill to be signed Wednesday by Gov. Jack Markell creates a new commercial shellfish aquaculture that officials say could provide economic benefits while improving water quality in Delaware's inland bays.

The bill authorizes the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control to direct and control aquaculture activities within the Inland Bays and to set criteria for leasing sites.

Aquaculture, 123rf

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. (AP) - Commercial shellfish aquaculture is a multimillion dollar business in states up and down the East Coast, but not in Delaware.

Delaware is the only coastal state without a commercial shellfish aquaculture industry, but officials with the Center for the Inland Bays are exploring the possibilities of creating one.