August 14, 2020, 01:13:11 AM
 
*
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
 
 
 
Total time logged in: 0 minutes.
 
   Home   Help Login Register  

     
 

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: 2003-worst crab year in quarter century?  (Read 1154 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
mariner
Registered User

Offline Offline

Posts: 333





Ignore
« on: December 19, 2003, 08:27:51 AM »

The Associated Press



ANNAPOLIS, Md. Dec. 17 Despite a late burst of blue crabs churned up by Tropical Storm Isabel, state environmental scientists are predicting the 2003 harvest of Maryland's signature seafood will likely be the worst in 25 years.
As of late October, Maryland seamen had pulled 16.5 million pounds of blue crabs from the Chesapeake Bay. Final numbers for the season that ended Monday are expected to total just over 18 million pounds, said Lynn Fegley, fisheries biologist and head of the blue crab program at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.



If the estimate holds, the harvest would be the worst since 1978, when seamen pulled in 17 million pounds. About 24 million pounds were harvested last year.
Those who make their living processing and selling crabs felt the dearth, especially early in the season, which begins in April.
"We had to call everywhere there was to fill the orders," said Harvey Linton, who has been running a wholesale and retail crab house in Crisfield for 33 years. Linton said he ordered more out-of-state crabs than he usually does from Louisiana, North Carolina and Virginia to supplement the small crustaceans pulled in by Maryland crabbers.
Maryland's worst-ever crab harvest, 10 million pounds, was in 1968. The catch stayed low in the 1970s and rebounded in the 1980s and 1990s.
Fegley blamed the poor catch partly on this year's frigid winter and spring. The weather was so cold that it killed some crabs, and the lateness of the chill kept crabs from moving around as much as usual preventing them from being harvested, she said.
The season effectively began about a month late because of the cold, Fegley said. Those early catches were so low that the state in June gave seamen unprecedented one-time payments of $500 to help them pay their bills.
Also, there simply are fewer crabs to harvest in the bay, Fegley said.
A dredge survey starting this week will predict how abundant crabs are and will help state officials anticipate next year's harvest.
"Between the stock size and the weather, this is what we got," Fegley said of the low harvest.
In mid-September, crab harvests picked up dramatically, seamen and processors said. Many attribute the increase to Isabel, which they say plowed up crabs that had moved into deep waters. Crabs had lain deeper, they speculate, to escape the extra pollution washed into the bay by the year's heavy rains.
Processors said seamen were hawking twice as many crabs after the storm.
"It certainly was a pleasant surprise to have as many crabs on the market after Hurricane Isabel as we did," said Bill Sieling, executive director of the Chesapeake Bay Seafood Industries Association.
But seamen suffered another blow when the late glut forced prices down.
"We couldn't move them," Sieling said. "Buyers would tell them, 'We can only buy crabs so many days a week. Go find somewhere else to sell them."

Logged
shallow hal
Guest

« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2003, 08:18:45 PM »

bogus. that run started well before isabel
Logged

A D V E R T I S E M E N T


Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

 
 
Home
 
Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
Simple Audio Video Embedder


Google visited last this page December 16, 2018, 09:39:53 AM