Workshop Targets Charter Boat Operators

Sea Grant programs in the Mid-Atlantic region continue an annual tradition by hosting the latest edition of the Delmarva Charter Boat Workshop, on Thursday, April 20, 2006 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. This year's workshop will take place at Harrison's Harbor Watch Restaurant in Ocean City, Maryland.

Charter and head boats have formed the backbone of the sport-fishing industry in the Mid-Atlantic region for more than a century. These vessels and their operators have played an important role in the maritime heritage that attracts tourists to many coastal communities. Today, the industry is faced with ever-changing fisheries regulations, legal issues, and fluctuating public demand for its services.

The workshop, organized by Sea Grant programs at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, University of Delaware, and University of Maryland, will focus on business, safety, and resource issues pertaining to the region's sport fisheries and offshore chartering.

"Fifty charter boat captains attended last year and workshop organizers are incorporating their positive comments and suggestions into this program," says Jon Lucy of the Virginia Sea Grant program at VIMS. "We encourage all charter and head boat owners and captains to attend, as well as those interested in entering the industry. It's a great opportunity for boat owners to come together to discuss mutual issues and challenges."

Featured during the morning is "Maritime Law and Your Business," in which Baltimore Attorney Stephen White will review a variety of legal and maritime issues of importance to charter operators. Representatives from the local (5th) Coast Guard District and the Ocean City Coast Guard Station will address vessel safety, equipment requirements, homeland security, and other concerns. Experts in the area of web-based marketing and off-season chartering opportunities will make additional presentations. VIMS researcher Dr. David Gauthier will provide an important presentation entitled "Skinny Stripers with Sores: What We Know, What We Don't." The lecture will explore current issues surrounding the topic of mycobacteriosis in striped bass.

Registration, which includes lunch, two breaks, and resource materials, is $35 per person.

To register, send your check payable to "University of Delaware" to:

The University of Delaware Sea Grant Program
Attention: Rita Baty—Charter Boat Workshop
700 Pilottown Road
Lewes, DE 19958

The telephone number is 302-645-4346 or e-mail: The registration deadline is April 13, 2006.

For more information, contact Jon Lucy, Virginia Sea Grant Program at 804-684-7166, or e-mail