Spiny Dogfish Industry Work Group


The Spiny Dogfish Industry Work Group (SDWG) was convened to address industry concerns regarding the commercial spiny dogfish fishery framework. The SDWG serves as an advisory body to the department on matters concerning the spiny dogfish commercial fishing industry. Specifically, the department seeks coordinated industry input on the management of this fishery in order to achieve the goals and objectives of the fishery's participants. Should the department choose to move forward with advice involving regulation; the department adheres to the established public process for initiating regulatory change. This includes public scoping of the regulatory idea, obtaining input from both the Tidal and Sport Fisheries Advisory Commissions, and a public comment opportunity during the regulatory process.


  • Merrill Campbell - Fish Dealer
  • Kirk Stewart - Gill Netter
  • Jeff Eustler - Trawler
  • Shah Amir - Recent Landings
  • Sonny Gwin - Historical Landings
  • Roger Wooleyhan - Out of State Resident
  • Ed Lynch - New Fishery Members


The membership of the SDWG should be representative of the diverse interests within the commercial fishery. Nominations for each seat were provided to the department by fishery participants.

The Natural Resources violation history of each nominee will reviewed by the department. Any current member of the SDWG who accumulates 10 or more points during any two year period will be removed from the Committee. In selecting new or replacement committee members, an individual who has acquired 10 or more points within the most recent two years will not be eligible. The department may also take into account other factors when determining eligibility, which include, but are not limited to excessive reporting violations, revocation of fishing permits, and probation before judgment dispositions for tier II and III offenses. Eligible nominees are appointed to the committee by the department.

Member Responsibilities:

  • Prepare for meetings: Read distributed information prior to meetings; discuss issues with the people you represent; and prepare to communicate the viewpoints and concerns of those you represent.
  • Service between meetings: Maintain regular communication with the people you represent, informing them of the progress and work of the SDWG.
  • Work in Meetings: Attend to process; follow the agenda; suggest solutions or compromises; search for closure.
  • Participate: Use the capacities and resources you possess; promote the ideas, perspectives and constituencies you represent while adhering to the purpose of the SDWG.

Term of Tenure and Selection of Future Members:

Consistent with the Tidal Fisheries Advisory Commission, members are appointed to a two year term. The department will request that industry leadership conduct a comprehensive review of the membership every two years. An individual may serve more than one term.


  • Proxy Attendees. A single, designated proxy from the same regional area as the member may be nominated to serve on behalf of a SDWG Member.
  • In the event that you are unable to attend a meeting, you must notify the DNR staff person assigned to the SDWG within 48 hours of the meeting. The DNR staff person will work with you to obtain and provide your input to the SDWG.
  • The DNR staff person will notify SDWG members if a meeting is to be canceled for lack of a quorum.
  • If a Member or their proxy is unable to attend 75% of SDWG meetings during a calendar year, the department will ask the SDWG to review this person's membership and potentially nominate a replacement.


A quorum is a simple majority of appointed Members.

Communication and Decision-Making Ground Rules

The SDWG is asked to consider each suggested ground rule in an effort to facilitate group discussions:

  1. Only SDWG Members (or approved proxy attendees) will sit at the meeting table.
  2. Only one member will speak at a time, each member will have equal opportunity to participate.
  3. Each Member will focus on the agenda issue to keep the discussion moving forward.
  4. Each Member will respect all other Members and individuals of the public that may be in attendance at meetings.
  5. Each Member will strive to listen actively and be open-minded.
  6. Public observers will be allowed to address the SDWG at a designated time period on the agenda for each meeting.
  7. For topics that are not on the agenda, department staff will use a public sign-up list in deciding how to allocate the available time on the agenda to the number of people who want to speak.


Work Group members may make a motion.

  1. If a motion is made, it shall be written down and reviewed for accuracy. Before discussing the motion, there needs to be a second to the motion. If the motion receives a second, department staff will facilitate a fair and equitable discussion among the Work Group members, and an opportunity for public comment as time allows.
  2. Discussion shall be limited to the merits of the immediately pending question or issue.
  3. A seconded motion shall be approved by a majority of the Work Group members in order to be adopted. Motions may be voted upon using ballots rather than a show of hands.
  4. If the motion is approved, but not carried unanimously, the department requests that the Work Group inform the department on the reason for the dissenting vote(s). This is needed as the department is the decision-making body, and not only needs to hear the reasons for supporting the motion but also those that oppose the motion.

Support Staff

The Maryland DNR Fisheries Service shall designate a staff person(s) to support the SDWG. The assigned staff person(s) shall have the following roles:

  • Administrator - Prepare and distribute meeting agendas, meeting summaries and meeting support information; arrange for meeting space; and secure materials and/or resources to facilitate meetings
  • Meeting Facilitator - Ensure adherence to agenda and operating guidelines; facilitate and clarify discussion; involve membership; explore diversity of opinions/inputs; resolve discussions; facilitate public participation in a fair and equitable manner while maintaining an atmosphere of civility and respect; allocate meeting time to accommodate discussion
  • Technical Support: Provide information and consultation regarding technical issues.