Oyster aquaculture exhibit, Maryland State Fair, Timonium, Maryland, September 2015. Photo by Sarah A. Hanks.
Maryland's first aquaculture legislation passed in 1988. Since then, most aquafarmed products have been grown in ponds. A new intensive aquaculture, however, now uses recirculating tanks, making farm-raised fish available year-round.
The Aquaculture Division grants shellfish aquaculture leases in Maryland, which allow shellfish, mostly oysters and some clams, to be grown and harvested. The Division also issues permits, commercial and private, to produce various species of finfish, plants, and invertebrates. As of June 2016, some 340 leases and 45 permits have been issued by the Division for aquaculture.
Department of Natural Resources, Tawes State Office Building, 580 Taylor Ave., Annapolis, Maryland, March 2001. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.
Throughout Maryland, 12 "fee-fishing lakes" are stocked with fish species, including catfish, largemouth bass, and trout. These lakes are licensed operations found on private property. Issued by the Fisheries Service, a permit allows for the catching and keeping of fish without a Fisheries Service fishing license.
More than 200 schools, nature centers, government agencies, and private organizations raise fish, shellfish, or aquatic plants for educational or restoration purposes. In cooperation with park and fishery managers, species produced include American shad, American eel, hybrid bluegill, rainbow trout, striped bass, yellow perch, and oysters.
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