Today the Virginia Marine Resources Commission and Maryland Department of Natural Resources released the results of the 2020 Blue Crab Winter Dredge Survey, an annual estimate of the population of blue crabs in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. This year’s survey showed slightly fewer blue crabs in the Bay than in the 2019 survey.
Chesapeake Bay Foundation Senior Regional Ecosystem Scientist Chris Moore issued the following statement:
“Although the blue crab numbers in the Bay are down from last year, overall they continue to remain well above the numbers seen in the late 1990s and mid-2000s that raised such concern. This year’s results indicate that the blue crab fisheries management changes adopted in 2008, which continue to guide decisions, have again resulted in a more abundant and stable trend for the Bay’s blue crab population.
“Unfortunately for many watermen, as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, seafood sales have fallen dramatically. Healthy fisheries, especially the iconic blue crab, are an important part of connecting with the Chesapeake Bay. A restored Bay will only strengthen that connection. Now is a great time to support local watermen and their communities through curbside and dockside sales and deliveries from seafood vendors.”