CBF Issues Statement on VMRC's Blue Crab Management Plan

Press Statement
November 19, 2012

CBF Issues Statement on VMRC's
Blue Crab Management Plan

(NORFOLK, VA)���Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) Hampton Roads Senior Scientist Chris Moore issued the following statement regarding the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) decision today about blue crab regulations for the upcoming year:

"CBF supports the VMRC decision to maintain most of the current blue crab management plan for the rest of the 2012 and 2013 fishing seasons. Despite lackluster harvests this year, CBF strongly believes the Chesapeake Bay's blue crab population is headed in the right direction. Diligent conservation-minded management, including the continued winter dredge closure, will ensure the long-term health of the blue crab population and economic prosperity of the fishery.

"We continue to emphasize that regulations are only one part of the formula for restoring this important Chesapeake Bay species. Degradation of water quality and loss of critical underwater grasses continue to take a toll, and the commission should stress the need to address these problems as the state continues implementing the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint."

The decision by VMRC is as follows, as noted on the Commission's meeting summary web page:

"The Commission voted unanimously to continue its crab stock rebuilding program by closing the winter crab dredge fishery for the fifth consecutive year, and to authorize staff and scientists at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science to conduct a study this winter to better determine how many crabs are damaged, unuseable and/or unavailable for spawning when dredge gear is used in the fishery. The study is expected to lead to a better understanding of the gear's impact, which will inform future crab management decisions."

Read the complete statement at http://www.mrc.state.va.us/Commission_Summaries/cs1112.shtm.

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