Development of educational needs for Maryland shellfish growers
Shellfish growers, who lease ground from the State of Maryland for production, have engaged in political, economic, and legal struggles for over a century in their mission to plant, protect, and harvest from their legally obtained grounds. This has led to legislated bans on leasing in many of the Chesapeake Bay counties, forcing planters use grounds that, since 1982, have been devastated by oyster diseases. The quest by the State to increase the oyster resource tenfold during the first decade of 2000 has caused leaseholders to become a potentially important part of restoration efforts. To develop leases into economically productive units, educational programs must be planned to meet the needs of growers and provide them with the skills required to produce while under pressure from traditional harvesters. This project identifies those holding leases from the State of Maryland and surveys them by coded mail technique. It provides information on their current state of productivity, and establishes informational needs for future support. A discussion of potential for Extension programs to have a measurable impact on this non-traditional audience is included.
0792: Fish production
0517: Agricultural education