April 14, 2010
CBF Statement Following Release of
Winter Crab Dredge Survey Report
(ANNAPOLIS, MD)—Will Baker, President of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, issued the following statement following the release of the winter crab dredge survey report by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources:
"Maryland and Virginia took a lot of heat for proposing regulations to better manage the crab population. Now it's becoming obvious those difficult decisions are paying off with an increase of the blue crab population. We thank Governor O'Malley and former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine for their courage, and congratulate them on the rebounding crab numbers, as well as their efforts to gain federal emergency funding to help watermen cope with the restrictions.
"What works for crabs can work for oysters: scientific management of the fisheries. Governor O'Malley's plan for restoring the oyster population can succeed for both the Bay ecology, and for the seafood industry, but the plan has met stiff opposition. We compliment Governor O'Malley on his fisheries policy, and urge him to stay the course. We also commend Governor Bob McDonnell for his commitment to continue on this course."
"This is not the end of the problem of threatened Bay species and a struggling Bay seafood industry, but it is a sign that managed the right way, the fisheries can respond and even flourish again. The right way is letting science, not politics, guide how we manage."
Graph from Virginia Institute of Marine Science "2009-2010 Baywide Winter Blue Crab Dredge Survey"