Watershed Voice
Summer 2012
Beyond Books

Crab Baby Boom 

Blue crab
A "Beautiful Swimmer." Photo by Damon Fodge.

The annual crab report says that crab populations are at their highest level in years. Great news for a summer of crab feasts at picnic tables across the watershed. But what does it mean as far as the science is concerned? How do biologists collect population samples and determine the overall number of crabs in the Bay? Read on for CBF's position, a quote from Maryland's Governor Martin O'Malley, and what the watermen's approach is to sustaining the industry.

Words from the Wise

  • From Chesapeake Bay Foundation: "The results of the latest blue crab survey are most heartening," says CBF's Fisheries Director Bill Goldsborough. "Recruitment (the number of young crabs in the population) is the largest on record, and total abundance approaches levels we have not seen since the early 1990s. Clearly, the blue crab population continues to rebound, and that is great news for crabs, crabbers, and the Chesapeake Bay." Read on for more of CBF's position on this great news.
  • From Maryland Department of Natural Resources: "Just a few short years ago, the future did not look bright for our blue crab population," said Governor O'Malley. "Our female crabs were being overfished, and our fishery was at risk of complete collapse. Today's announcement marks four years in a row of progress to restore the blue crab. The kind of progress we're making today really only happens when we work together. None of us can restore the blue crab alone—we're all in this together, and it will take all of us working together to achieve a better future for our crabs, our industry, recreational crabbers and crab-lovers across our State." Read more of what Gov. O'Malley had to say in the Department of Natural Resources article on the blue crab winter dredge survey.
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