The number of blue crabs in the Chesapeake Bay hit a record low, marking the lowest count in more than three decades of tracking the crustaceans, experts said.
The annual Baywide Blue Crab Winter Dredge Survey, which comes up with an estimate of the blue crab population, this year tallied 227 million crabs, the “lowest abundance observed since the survey began in 1990,” said the authors of the count. Officials say the survey by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) is key to knowing how to manage the number of blue crabs that can be harvested each year by commercial and recreational fishing operations.
“It provides the guardrails of how we manage the crab harvest,” said Michael Luisi, acting director of Maryland DNR Fishing and Boating Services, whose division helps in the survey.
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