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Author Topic: Virginia tightens up on crab harvests as season nears  (Read 9888 times)
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jack1747
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« Reply #20 on: February 28, 2008, 10:01:52 AM »

Actually, I am the lone person who speaks for the rec crabbers on the VMRC blue crab advisory committee.  I normally make it to the Commission meetings but could not this month due to work commitments.

Tom
For you newbies, Tom has been representing the Rec crabbers for a number of years at the Commision meetings.  He has been on the forum along time. 
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Tom Powers
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« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2008, 10:02:24 AM »

Just out of curiosity anybody know how many crabs where taken out of the bay by recs. last year?  Its a mystery, but what if its 5 million pounds or more (which I think is honestly a low number considering the number of rec. lic.)?

No one actually knows but I doubt that the 597 license holders caught anywhere near 5,000,000 pounds last year. 

2 times a week x 15 weeks x 30 pounds x 200 serious license holders = 180,000 pounds That is like 0.8% of the 20,000,000 pounds caught commercially.  Actually a survey done during one of the good years a while back said that the recreational fishery harvest like 5% of the harvested crabs in VA so that is like 1 million pounds.


Further more you have the state constitution that says.

Virginia State Constitution
Article XI
Section 1. Natural resources and historical sites of the Commonwealth.

[/b]To the end that the people have clean air, pure water, and the use and enjoyment for recreation of adequate public lands, waters, and other natural resources,[/b] it shall be the policy of the Commonwealth to conserve, develop, and utilize its natural resources, its public lands, and its historical sites and buildings. Further, it shall be the Commonwealth's policy to protect its atmosphere, lands, and waters from pollution, impairment, or destruction, for the benefit, enjoyment, and general welfare of the people of the Commonwealth.

The way that I read it there has to be an adequate amount for recreational purposes before they are allowed to commercialize it.  If I really thought that the recreational crab fishery was significantly impacting the crab populations then I would support further restrictions. In my opinion such is not the case. In addition to environmental problems the major problem is over capitalization of the commercial fishery.

Cutting out the recreational fishery is just like saying that we should close several state parks because the loggers and farmers need to use the trees and the land. . .While it may be true that they would make more money the state's natural resources is held in public trust for the PUBLIC BENEFIT not just for commercial benefit.
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« Reply #22 on: February 28, 2008, 10:12:18 AM »

The question was asked about crabs caught out of the Bay not just VA,it always amazes me how a fishery can exist for well over 100 years with no problems until it catches the attention of the recreational fishermen,then all of a sudden there is problems and it sall the commercials fault, The way I read it was that the non fishing public has a right to these resources ahead of just a few who want to do it for fun.
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jack1747
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« Reply #23 on: February 28, 2008, 10:15:26 AM »

One of the positive things on the tape, if you could call it positive, is hearing VIMS say "they don't know what predations is doing" to the crab population outside of the grass beds.  And the one waterman that made the comment, "i got more predators in my peeler pots that peelers."  I have noticed the same thing also.
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jack1747
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« Reply #24 on: February 28, 2008, 10:26:11 AM »

Hey Tom,

One item.  I have four pots hanging off my pier.  My neighbor has 5.  The funnels are closed the pots are used to hold crab until we can get enough good ones for a pot.  I crab every other day, except Sundays.  But only keep 18 total.  With a 5 pots license, last season, I rarely could get 18 good crabs, here in the Sound, in a single days fishing. 

At $25.00 a pot I don't think many folks would have 5 or 10 pots on their peir if they could catch a couple dozen in just 2.
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« Reply #25 on: February 28, 2008, 10:46:55 AM »

There must easily be 100,000 recreational licenses in MD alone.  Even if they only catch a bushel a year thats close to half a million pounds right there.  Its a big figure for the whole of the Bay I'm telling you. 
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« Reply #26 on: February 28, 2008, 11:14:24 AM »


 The operative here is IF THEY CAUGHT... Have crabbed Md. at least 9 times in the past 2 years. Have usually, following the advice found here, harvested 3/4 to 1 1/4 bushel.. Never over 1 1/4. Three or four licensed ,(non res.. rec) all paid for per trip. Divide the crab total by those sharing the harvest.. gas,food,drinks + money spent in Md...(if you can guestimate crab numbers you think were caught by recs, I can guess at the total daily bill ) that I feel we or I spent for the day that went into Md. coffers. Not to mention the three or four boats out of 50 or so that come in braggin' or showing a limit, and the 45 or so who are half boozed up crying "this place sux!!" because they only got 4 or five crabs. You can't add apples and oranges!!! You have to have the "NUMBERS"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have a Md. non res. rec license. It has a number on it.... NJ when issuing a non res. rec license is also suppose to issue a yearly harvest report card. If your number doesn't show up in the annual report......badda bin!! BUT.... they have created this "computerized" licensing system and entered you in their computer and can't or won't make the system work?HuhHuh Comms. recs., conservation panels, marine experts, rule enforcement etc. each has "GOT" to do better at their respective jobs. This can go from apples and oranges to "crabs"... but not without effort and co-operation.. If it stays NIMBY...ain't gonna happen. If you don't want me to crab Md....take my license. I'll give it to you and you can keep the change!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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« Reply #27 on: February 28, 2008, 02:59:22 PM »

Reducing recreational crabbing first and foremost is by far the more sound economically responsible choice.  Do commercial crabbers take more crabs?  Sure they do, but does that mean that they should pay more to clean up the problem?  No, because they can't afford to.  Who can afford to?  Recreational crabbers.  Its a very basic principal.  Who cleans up pollution?  The big business that causes most of the problem?  No, its the small businesses that are more efficient at clean up efforts who make the most difference.  Thats the reasoning behind that decision and its a good one, if it goes through.  Should everyone be cut back most definitely.  Just out of curiousity anybody know how many crabs where taken out of the bay by recs. last year?  Its a mystery, but what if its 5 million pounds or more (which I think is honestly a low number considering the number of rec. lic.)?  What are those 5 million pounds worth to rec. crabbers?  Four less crab feasts a year?  But 5 million pounds to watermen would be hundreds of thousands of dollars of income.  So who can take on that burden???
The recource is owned by the public thus the public has an equal right no matter what you choose to do for a living unfortunately.The responsibility should be shared equally.
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« Reply #28 on: February 28, 2008, 03:34:02 PM »

Morally, yes, everything should be fair and equal, but its all economically driven and fair and equal is not economical. 
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« Reply #29 on: February 28, 2008, 03:44:55 PM »

The topic is tightening restrictions which is not economically driven it's driven by the low numbers.If the goal is to help the crab(which imho by itself will have little effect)then the burden should fall on whoever is catching the crabs.If the other problems like water quality,predation etc. aren't addressed then it will be nothing more than a band aid on a broken back.
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« Reply #30 on: February 28, 2008, 03:47:05 PM »

Morally, yes, everything should be fair and equal, but its all economically driven and fair and equal is not economical. 


   Another nail hit on the head!!!!! Angry If we can't think money, it seems we can't think Embarassed Tongue
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« Reply #31 on: February 28, 2008, 03:59:51 PM »

having money doesn't always mean being happy.  Wink
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« Reply #32 on: February 28, 2008, 04:02:04 PM »

My daughter and I are having some crab soup right now god it's good!  wink3
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« Reply #33 on: February 28, 2008, 04:17:46 PM »

still have about 3 gal of crab soup in the freezer.  Wink
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« Reply #34 on: February 28, 2008, 04:28:02 PM »

If it wasn't about money, crabs would be free.  A moratorium would definitely work to bring back the crab population, but the damage to the seafood industry would be catastrophic.
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« Reply #35 on: February 28, 2008, 04:33:34 PM »

If it wasn't about money, crabs would be free.  A moratorium would definitely work to bring back the crab population, but the damage to the seafood industry would be catastrophic.
I'm not sure what your point is.
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« Reply #36 on: February 28, 2008, 05:08:11 PM »

If it wasn't about money, crabs would be free.  A moratorium would definitely work to bring back the crab population, but the damage to the seafood industry would be catastrophic.





I'm willing to bet No State, Maryland or Virgina "CAN" guarantee that a Moratorium will work..Don't be fooled by the Rock Fish Moratorium, IMHO  That was all a Bunch Of Bull Chit.(ALL POLITTICAL)..   The Rock Fish had already made a come back when the Moratorium was Instated..
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« Reply #37 on: February 28, 2008, 05:10:37 PM »

what about the blue catfish. from what i heard they are the ones that cosume the most crabs. HuhHuh Embarassed
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« Reply #38 on: February 28, 2008, 05:18:34 PM »

I don't think those Catfish  live in the Salty waters down the Bay...
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« Reply #39 on: February 28, 2008, 05:20:24 PM »

from what the VA. watermen are saying yes they do.
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