Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Should female sponge crabs be harvested?

Here's a recent look at the question by Pamela D'Angelo at  the newly established Chesapeake: A Journalism Collaborative.

The Atlantic blue crab, Chesapeake Bay’s signature crustacean, has been through tough times in the last 20 years. Some recent improvement has been credited to restrictions on harvesting females. Yet Virginia still allows the harvest of egg-bearing females, something Maryland banned back in 1917. The reasons why seem to be wrapped up in economics.
In late June, Ida Hall, a commercial waterman was pulling crab pots from creek just inside Virginia’s western shore of the Chesapeake Bay. As she sorted large from small male crabs she also tossed egg-bearing females, called sponge crabs, into a separate basket... Read the rest of the article here.