It’s September. Seafood restaurants from coast to coast are serving platter after platter of steaming crabs, ready for hammering and picking. The supply seems endless, but is it?
Not if we’re talking about blue crabs from Chesapeake Bay.
The bay’s iconic blue crab population has dropped to new lows—levels not seen since before restrictions were placed on the fishery more than five years ago.
In response, the Virginia Marine Resources Commission recently approved a reduction of the female blue crab harvest by 10 percent from July 5, 2014, to July 4, 2015. As of this writing, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the Potomac River Fisheries Commission are also expected to limit catches.
What’s to blame for the decline?