March 16, 2020

Fake Testimony Hurts Watermen, Makes Bad Law

People testifying before legislative committees of the General Assembly, regardless of their cause or concern, should do so with honesty, integrity and facts, especially when it comes to supposed “science-based” legislation.  To do otherwise cheapens the legislative process and results in bad law often with intended and/or unintended consequences harmful of the seafood industry.  Our most recent and glaring case in point is SB 629 and companion HB 1306 and the questionable testimony provided to the subject committees by proponents of the legislation (i.e., ShoreRivers).  On behalf of DFA and for purposes of correcting and enhancing the legislative record re SB 629/HB 1306, this letter was sent to the primary bill sponsors and to the House and Senate committees that heard the bills.  If the so-called “Manning Study” is going to be cited as justification for more regulations on the clam fishery in the name of SAV protection, it is advisable to first read that study (published in 1957) and understand its context and conclusions.  To see for yourself, the Manning Study (aka The Maryland Soft Shell Clam Industry and Its Effects of Tidewater Resource, 1957) is attached (linked here).

Manning Study Clamming 1957 with highlights

Ltr to Sen Kagan (SB 629) and Del Terrasa (HB 1306) with study title

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