The fifth annual Delmarva Charter Boat Operators Workshop will be held on Thursday, April 20, in Ocean City, Maryland. The one-day workshop will run from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Harrison’s Harbor Watch restaurant overlooking the inlet in Ocean City.
Organized jointly by the Sea Grant programs at the University of Delaware, University of Maryland, and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, the workshop will focus on business management, marketing, safety, and fishery resource issues pertaining to the charter and head boat industry. Last year, over 50 charter boat captains attended the popular program.
“We encourage all charter and head boat captains and owners to attend, as well as those people interested in entering the charter industry,” says John Ewart, aquaculture and fisheries specialist with the Delaware Sea Grant Marine Advisory Service. “The workshop provides a great opportunity for boat owners to come together and discuss mutual issues and challenges.”
“Legal Issues, Management, and Marketing” will be the focus of the morning session. Stephen White, a Baltimore maritime attorney and popular workshop speaker, will review different aspects of maritime law and liability pertaining to the charter boat business in state and federal waters. He also will discuss related legal topics of concern to charter boat captains.
Captain Greg Ignash from Reel Addiction Charter in Virginia will describe his experiences and suggest ways to improve the management and marketing of a charter boat business. Craig Banks from Daybreak Web Designs, a local company that specializes in Web site design for charter boat, recreational fishing, and other small businesses, will discuss how to use the Internet as a marketing tool. Lisa Challenger, tourism director for the Worcester County Tourism office in Maryland, will be the final speaker in the morning session. She will review various off-season charter business opportunities.
Lieutenant Junior Grade Christopher Lucero from the U.S. Coast Guard Station in Ocean City, Maryland, will open the afternoon session and provide updates on vessel operations, homeland security, and other related safety issues. The remainder of the afternoon will focus on “Fisheries Resource Issues and Your Charter Business.” Various speakers will cover topics such as the white marlin fishery, coastal and bay rockfish populations, and current fishery tagging programs.
The workshop will conclude with a round-table discussion for Delmarva charter boat captains on local topics and concerns. In addition, state and federal resource agency representatives and exhibitors will have information on insurance, bio-diesel fuels, clean marina programs, and other topics of interest.
Registration for the workshop, which includes lunch and resource materials, is $35 per person. On-site registration will be taken as space allows, but the fee will increase to $40. To register, make your check payable to “University of Delaware,” and mail it to Rita Baty, Delaware Sea Grant College Program, 700 Pilottown Road, Lewes, DE 19958-1507 ATTN: Charter Boat Workshop. The registration deadline is Friday, April 13. For more information, contact John Ewart at email@example.com or (302) 645-4060, or visit darc.cms.udel.edu/charterboat.