OCEAN CITY — On the same day the National Aquarium announced it was seeking an Urban National Marine Sanctuary designation for the Baltimore Canyon off the coast of Ocean City, aquarium officials attempted to reassure the sportfishing community a successful designation would not impact the fertile fishing grounds.
When the National Aquarium announced on Monday it was seeking the nation’s first Urban National Marine Sanctuary designation for the Baltimore Canyon off the coast of Ocean City, the knee-jerk reaction from the resort’s sportfishing community was fear of gradually losing more and more of the heart of the multi-million fishing industry. The overriding fear, and there is precedent for it, is that once the federal government gets its foot in the door, more and more regulations would be forthcoming and access to the canyon for recreational and commercial fisherman would be gradually chipped away.
However, National Aquarium officials later on Monday attempted to allay those fears. According to spokesperson Corrine Weaver, the National Aquarium is keenly aware of the importance of the recreational and commercial fisheries in the Baltimore Canyon and seeking an Urban National Marine Sanctuary designation would not impact those industries.