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Maryland Is for Crabs – Or Is It?

Saving the Maryland Blue Crab –

Expect crab prices to climb this summerMaryland Governor O’Malley stood on the shores of the Potomac River with Virginia Governor Timothy Kane, earlier this week, to announce their joint efforts to salvage the blue crabs for which our states are so well known.  If they’re successful, “Maryland is for Crabs” will live on.

O’Malley cited the 30% drop of crabs over the past 10–15 years and the alarmingly high 60% harvest of the Chesapeake Bay’s crab population in 2007 as motivation for this action.  The joint statement by Governors Kaine and O’Malley indicated that “Maryland and Virginia are collaborating at unprecedented levels to monitor progress, tracking this year’s harvest and scrutinizing the winter dredge survey results next year to manage for the long-term health of the blue crab and the Chesapeake Bay’s ecology, economy and heritage.”

New Measures Now

In plain English, here are the conservation measures proposed for recreational crabbing (by you and me) in Maryland waters: 

Additional measures proposed to alleviate user conflict:

New commercial crabbing regulations will be very costly to the industry, and the State is looking at ways to help it survive over the next few years ‘til things get back to normal.

I Don’t Catch Crabs – I EAT Them

If you’re a connoisseur of Maryland Bue Crabs, those new commercial regulations will reduce the crab yield and subsequently increase crab prices. 

Be prepared.  Crabs will cost you more in 2008.

But it’s a small price to pay, if we can restore health and abundance to Maryland’s blue crab population and continue the tradition, “Maryland is for Crabs.” 



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