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: 1/27/15
In this episode:
Assessment: Atlantic menhaden is not overfished
Bering Sea pollock fishery casts off
Dock to Dish opens Florida’s first CSF
Second wave of disaster funds for Alaska
Fisherman lands N.C.’s largest bluefin ever
The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute is still seeking public review and comment on the Alaska Responsible Fisheries Management Conformance Criteria (Version 1.2, September 2011). The public review and comment period, which opened on Dec. 3, 2014, runs through Monday, Feb. 3.
NOAA, in consultation with the Department of the Interior, has appointed 10 new members to the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee. The 20-member committee is composed of individuals with diverse backgrounds and experience who advise the departments of commerce and the interior on ways to strengthen and connect the nation's MPA programs. The new members join the 10 continuing members appointed in 2012.