The Chesapeake Bay Program Sustainable Fisheries Goal Implementation Team (Fisheries GIT) is comprised of regional fishery managers and other key stakeholders that collaboratively work towards sustaining Chesapeake Bay fish and shellfish populations. Indicators for evaluating the health and status of oysters, Atlantic menhaden, striped bass, and American shad are being re-considered. The Fisheries GIT is looking at new methods for representing the health and management of these species to include ecosystem considerations. These metrics are expected to be used in the future.
The Fisheries GIT has agreed to a goal to restore 20 tributaries by 2025 with healthy oyster populations and habitat. Maryland has increased the protection of the remaining quality habitat for oysters from 9 percent to 25 percent through its Sanctuary Program and the Fisheries GIT has adopted a set of oyster restoration performance metrics that, for the first time in the Chesapeake Bay, establish a common definition for tributary and reef-level restoration success. Using the oyster restoration metrics and through collaborative decision-making with the state of Maryland, the Army Corps of Engineers, and NOAA, the first tributary to be restored is Harris Creek. A tributary restoration plan with defined restoration targets has been completed for Harris Creek.
Information on blue crab abundance and management progress and goals is described below.