California Oysterman Banned From Oystering Activity On The Potomac

Natural Resources Police announce Friday a California oysterman has been banned from working the Potomac River for the 2017-18 season.

Forty-one-year-old James Phillip Nelson was convicted in February in St. Mary’s County of harvesting oysters in a protected area near Point Lookout. On September 7, the Potomac River Fisheries Commission placed Nelson on probation, prohibiting him from serving as a crewman or being aboard a boat that is harvesting oysters, according to a Natural Resources Police news release.

Illegal Oyster HarvestingIf convicted of future violations, Nelson could face further sanctions.

A St. Mary’s County District Court judge permanently revoked Nelson’s Maryland license in November 2015 after he was convicted of keeping oysters that were between 28 and 48 percent undersized and harvesting oysters from a polluted area, according to the news release.

Additionally, Nelson was ordered to pay court costs and a $3,750 find, with all but $1,750 suspended. He has a history of convictions, including illegal oyster hunting and harvesting and crabbing, dating back to 2009.

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