The Department of Natural Resources, Fishing and Boating Services is actively engaged in managing threatened and endangered species. Any finfish or shellfish species that is determined to be endangered by the federal Endangered Species Act are protected under Maryland law. The Endangered Species Act prohibits the unauthorized taking, possession, sale and transport of endangered species. In accordance with the Endangered Species Act, Maryland recognizes and works to conserve species listed as threatened or endangered by the federal government. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) also works in cooperation with its partners to protect habitat valuable to the listed species. Additionally, the state has the ability through the Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources to list a Maryland species as threatened or endangered given the following factors.
*Species Endangered Extirpated in Maryland - Species are designated "endangered extirpated" if no naturally occurring populations are known to exist despite having been a natal component of Maryland's flora or fauna.
In order to ensure the continuation of sustainable fisheries and important ecological services, Maryland has designated species " in need of conservation". This designation may lead to additional conservation measures to enable the continuation of the species in Maryland waters. Species "in need of conservation" are species whose existence as parts of the state's natural resources are in jeopardy. Determination of a "species in need of conservation" can be obtained by information contained in stock status reports, commercial and recreational harvest reports and scientific literature among other sources. Local, state and private organizations work in cooperation with each other to effectively protect habitat vital to the designated species. In addition, listing a species as "in need of conservation" gives the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) the authority to develop and pass regulations to manage that species and obtain the desired management objectives.
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