Survey Shows Ongoing Rebound for Chesapeake’s Blue Crabs

BALTIMORE — Blue crabs are rebounding in the Chesapeake Bay, with an annual survey showing the highest estimates of the clawed critters in seven years.

The dredging survey released Monday is the latest sign of a healthy crab population and welcome news for fisherfolk in America’s largest estuary and those who love cracking into bushels of the bay’s iconic crustaceans. Feasts of blue crabs steamed in peppery seasoning or fashioned into succulent crabcakes are a beloved delicacy and one of last viable regional fisheries.

“It looks like we’re heading in the right direction,” said Robert T. Brown, president of the Maryland Watermen’s Association, a nonprofit that represents commercial fishermen and other seafood interests in the mid-Atlantic state nearly synonymous with shellfish. “I think it shows you’ve got to be conservative to get your population to increase.”

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