News from the DNR Office of Communications

NRP Charges Seafood Dealer For Oyster Violations

Wingate, Md. (December 22, 2009) – The Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) charged Steven Hwang, the owner of J and R Seafood in Wingate, Dorchester County, with 47 reporting and tax violations related to buying oysters harvested from the Chesapeake Bay.

On December 9, Hwang, 64, was charged with 11 counts of failure to submit oyster buy tickets to the DNR, 11 counts of failure to pay oyster taxes, and 25 counts of failure to submit weekly oyster tax reports to the DNR.

When commercial watermen harvest oysters, they sell their catch to designated commercial establishments or buy stations. The buy stations are required to record information about the purchase on a designated DNR form. This official form is referred to as a buy ticket. The buy ticket records the watermen’s name, license number, location of harvest, and the amount of harvest. The buyer submits the buy tickets, and a weekly oyster report to the DNR. Information gained from the reports assist with management and health assessments of the oyster stock in the Chesapeake Bay.

The dealer is required to pay tax to the state for each bushel of oysters that is purchased. This revenue is used for the repletion of the natural oyster bars of the state.

Hwang is scheduled to appear in district court in Cambridge on February 17, 2010.

Note: If you choose to use an acronym, please refer to the Maryland Natural Resources Police as “NRP.” Thank you.

   December 22, 2009

Contact: Sgt. A.A. Windemuth
410-260-8003 office | 410-713-8449 cell

The Maryland Natural Resources Police is the enforcement arm of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). With an authorized strength of 247 officers and a dedicated staff of civilian and volunteer personnel, the NRP provide a variety of services in addition to conservation and boating law enforcement duties throughout the State of Maryland. These services include homeland security, search and rescue, emergency medical services, education, information and communications services on a round the clock basis. NRP is the only police force aside from the Maryland State Police that has statewide jurisdiction.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 461,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries, and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic, and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at