Watermen suggest new plan to strengthen blue crab stocks

Chesa­peake Bay blue crab pop­u­la­tion fig­ures show crabs are among the low­est lev­els since 1990, and the num­ber of mature female crabs fell one mil­lion short of the “bare min­i­mum” sci­en­tists say is needed to sus­tain the pop­u­la­tion. as a result the Vir­ginia Marine Resources Com­mis­sion to cut the har­vest limit in June for com­mer­cial crab­bers by 10%.The bay’s blue crab fish­ery gen­er­ates nearly $30 mil­lion in annual rev­enues. The Vir­ginia Blue Crab Indus­try Panel, a volunteer-led group of com­mer­cial water­men, has requested thatVMRC estab­lish a pilot pro­gram that assigns indi­vid­ual har­vest lim­its to water­men instead of restrict­ing sea­son, daily catches or gear.