This Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014 photo provided by the Maryland Natural Resources Police shows a small portion of the oysters discovered in a tractor-trailer truck seized in Easton, Md., for transporting undersized oysters. Police, acting on a tip, stopped the tractor-trailer Wednesday night on westbound Route 50, and directed the driver to a parking lot. Officers say the truck contained 188 bushels. Seventeen officers and cadets spent six hours measuring every oyster. Police say all but one of the bushels had oysters below the legal minimum of three inches. (AP Photo/Maryland Natural Resources Police, Candy Thomson)
EASTON, Md. (AP) — Seventeen officers and cadets with the Maryland Natural Resources Police spent Wednesday night and Thursday morning measuring 188 bushels of oysters, checking for undersized bivalve mollusks.
The law enforcers said they determined that all but one of the bushels, found in a tractor-trailer stopped on Route 50, contained undersized oysters.
Police, acting on a tip, stopped the tractor-trailer Wednesday night and directed the driver to a parking lot. There, officers and cadets spent six hours measuring every oyster.
Authorities said the percentage of undersized oysters in each bushel ranged from six percent to 46 percent, which beyond Maryland’s five percent limit.
The Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Service said load represents the daily limit of 16 oystermen power dredging and is worth more than $8,000.
The 50 bushels of undersized oysters, which filled the bed of a one-ton pick-up truck, were separated from the legal cargo and returned to an Eastern Shore oyster sanctuary.
The truck driver, 66-year-old Rhoderick Newman of Tappahannock, Va., was charged with attempting to transport undersized oysters out of state and possession of undersized and unculled oysters. The truck, which police say is owned by Cowart Seafood Corp. of Lottsburg, Va., is being held at an NRP impoundment lot.