Chesapeake Bay’s Blue Crab Industry Suffers One-Two Punch With Less Seasonal Help, Virus

The crab season is off to a slow and foreboding start around the Chesapeake Bay, with many crabmeat processors crippled by an inability to import seasonal workers and by watermen worried they’ll be unable to sell all they can catch as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Chilly, windy weather limited commercial harvests of blue crabs through much of April, the first full month of the season.

Warming spring weather usually brings better fortunes, but those in the business of catching or picking crabs say they fear for their livelihoods amid the double whammy that’s hit the bay’s most valuable fishery.

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