The numbers are out and the Chesapeake Bay crab population has increased by 38%. Most importantly, the number of spawning age females has increased 47% and the stock is no longer overfished (below the 70 million threshold in the second figure), as it was a year ago.
While this is all good news, the number of spawning age females (estimated to be 101 million this year) is still less than half of the 215 million that would support a productive and sustainable fishery. It will be essential to keep protecting spawning age females for the blue crab recovery to continue.
Click here to go to the Maryland DNR website for more data on the crab population and description of the winter dredge survey that collects the data. The figures above can be found on the DNR website.
You can also read more about the 2015 data in the Baltimore Sun.