Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Virginia Shuts Down the Winter Crab Dredge Fishery

Virginia closes the bay's winter blue crab dredge fishery for another year
The Chesapeake Bay winter crab dredge fishery will be closed for yet another year after Virginia Marine Resources Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to give the bay's depleted stock of iconic blue crabs time to rebuild.

The 7-0 vote in Newport News rejected a proposal that would have reopened the dredge fishery as a pilot program with tight limits and restrictions, and closed it outright for another winter.

The latest stock survey showed the blue crab population has plummeted to less than half what it was the previous year.
I strongly approve.  Crab stocks are pretty resilient, and the numbers vary a lot from year to year due to apparently random weather factors, but it's just stupid to maintain a fishery that specifically targets spawning females at a time when the numbers are way down.

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