Baltimore Canyon “urban sanctuary” off OC worries fishermen

Capt. Monty Hawkins of Morning Star Fishing in Ocean City said the protection of one small patch of ocean does nothing to protect the ocean environment as a whole. “We have to do a whole lot better than what we are doing,” Hawkins said. “But taking the Baltimore Canyon and protecting the area directly around it is incredibly distressing, these are areas filled with recreational fishermen and commercial fishermen.” While the designation is said to not impact recreational fishing, the unique designation has worried local politicians and fishermen alike, who believe that the sanctuary status could impact the local economy; whether by curbing recreational and tournament fishing or impacting commercial vessels. In Maryland, offshore commercial fishing brings in around $78.2 million annually, or roughly 35 percent of the average annual catch for the Mid-Atlantic Coastline, according to the National Aquarium’s proposal to the NOAA. Read the story here 16:22