Recent actions that you have taken, makes me put this letter together to address the situations at hand. First of all, your contact with an individual in Cecil County and the information that you gave him concerning Delmarva Fisheries Association is of great concern to all of us at DFA and our local affiliates -- the Kent County Watermen’s Association, the Talbot County Watermen’s Association, The Queen Anne’s County Watermen’s Association, the Dorchester Seafood Heritage Association, and the Maryland Clammers Association.
DFA was referred to as nothing but a scam just like the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and it was said that DFA receives large sums of money directly from the sale of fishing licenses in the state. These two comments stated at a public meeting in Cecil County are outright lies and misinformation. The gentleman who spoke said he got this information from you and you alone! This will not go unanswered.
It absolutely disgusts all of us at DFA that you do not acknowledge us, and constantly talk us down even though we represent all the watermen in your district. That’s right, Delegate, we also represent Kent County and Queen Anne’s County. You have never given us credit for what we do, and constantly window dress the industry for an association in southern Maryland. Also, recently you put in a bill, HB593, that describes 27 alternative dredging site areas in the Bay for oyster shells. You even said that the industry came to you and gave you these 27 sites. This once again is another one of your fabricated stories!
Myself and the president of Queen Anne’s County Waterman’s Association reached out to every individual that represents their County on the State shell committee and not one single person said you ever contacted them concerning this bill that you put in. You have repeatedly said since then that these were industry supplied spots to dredge shells. I’m here to tell you Delegate, NO THEY ARE NOT! Also, this so-called Waterman’s Caucus that you have put together has been poorly attended, if attended at all, by any of the industry representatives.
Specifically, here on the Eastern Shore, no one wants to waste their time attending a caucus that does absolutely nothing! You claim you represent the seafood industry in the state of Maryland. We find that hard to believe! I don’t believe you have ever attended a meeting in Kent County of the watermen and know for a fact you have never been to any of the Sunday meetings in Queen Anne’s County for the watermen. Delmarva Fisheries Association takes great pride in representing those counties on the Eastern Shore which comprises more than 80% of all licensed watermen. What we will not tolerate is somebody behind closed doors that constantly degrades what we do.
DFA is a legal trade Association registered as a nonprofit with the state and the federal government; and is legally represented by a very professional law firm. This seems to be a lot better than some of the organizations you say you speak for that don’t even have any members in your district. We do a very good professional job here at DFA and will no longer tolerate your antics that degrade our association.
This being an election year, remember one thing, “THE ONE THING A POLITICIAN NEEDS THAT WE DON’T IS VOTES”. You have and continue to cause problems for the seafood industry in Maryland. These problems will not go unanswered. They will be solved, no thanks to you.
Captain Robert Newberry
Chairman, Delmarva Fisheries Association Inc.