DOVER — A little before 1 p.m. Thursday, the 32-foot crabbing vessel, Lauren Marie, chugged along the Leipsic River amid the swirling fog and pelting rain.
Like a well-oiled assembly line, brothers Larry and Leonard Voss, of Smyrna, and Trey Holland, of Dover, began to unload the day's offerings at the dock near Sambo's Tavern in Leipsic. They expertly tossed extra crab pots onto Leonard's truck, all the while ensuring that the 90 blue crabs couldn't escape from their bushels.
After being out on the water since the first lights struck at the horizon at 4 a.m., Leonard said the seven bushels of crabs is a less than favorable harvest.
Slow harvests have been indicative of the state's declining blue crab population. This season the numbers are down at least by 75 percent, he said. The low numbers have also caused the crab prices to skyrocket from around $80 a bushel to up to $130.
"It's not just us — it's up and down the whole coast from Georgia to New Jersey," Leonard Voss, 57, said.
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National Fisherman Live: 9/9/14
In this episode:
Seafood Watch upgrades status of 21 fish species
Calif. bill attacking seafood mislabeling approved
Ballot item would protect Bristol Bay salmon
NOAA closes cod, yellowtail fishing areas
Pacific panel halves young bluefin harvest
National Fisherman Live: 8/26/14
In this episode, National Fisherman Publisher Jerry Fraser talks about his early days dragging for redfish on the Vandal.
More than a dozen higher education institutions and federal and local fishery management agencies and organizations in American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Hawaii have signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at building the capacity of the U.S. Pacific Island territories to manage their fisheries and fishery-related resources.