Virginia Considers Shortening Crab Season
The Virginia Marine Resources Commission will hold a public hearing in Newport News, Va., on Tuesday, Feb. 26, to discuss potential harvest restrictions for blue crab, including shortening the season.
According to a study recently released by the commission, the Chesapeake Bay blue crab population dropped from just more than 450 million crabs in 1990 to about 150 million crabs last year. The state's 2006 crab catch was the lowest recorded since 1945, says the report.
"Recent efforts to rebuild the resource are not working," Jack Travelstead, Virginia's deputy marine resource commissioner and the state director of fisheries, told the Associated Press. "We're at low levels of population abundance, and we've been there for too long."
"Just one big environmental event like another die-off of submerged aquatic vegetation or a major hurricane could crash the population," he added.
Maryland's 2007 blue crab harvest was the second lowest on record, state officials announced earlier this week.