National Fisherman

WASHINGTON - It's being called the worst blue crab season in 20 years.
 
Last winter, the Chesapeake Bay was fully stocked with blue crabs. But now, the population is depleted and retailers are having to pull them from other states to bring them to the table.
 
At Jesse Taylor Seafood on the Southwest Waterfront, manager Stan Kiser agrees it's the worst blue crab season he's seen. Every crabber is pulling in fewer bushels, he says.
 
"Instead of dealing with two or three people, you have to deal with 10 people to get the amount that you need," Kiser says.
 
But the demand is still high. So, Jesse Taylor's as well as other wholesale markets and restaurants are pulling their blue crabs in from out of state and charging the consumer more.
 
"As far north as Delaware and as far south as Florida," Kiser says.
 
"We're experiencing this scarcity of crabs from Florida to New Jersey and the whole East Coast as far as commercial crabbing for blue crabs," says Jack Brooks, president of the Chesapeake Bay Seafood Industries Association.
 
Blue crabs are fighting to survive for a number of reasons, Brooks says. Their natural habitat -- grasses that grow in the bay -- are thin, giving them little place to hide. Pollution levels increased in the bay after major storms like Hurricane Sandy and Irene forced runoff into the watershed.
 
Finally, one of the blue crabs' natural predators, the striped bass, which is protected by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is thriving, Brooks says.
 
Read the full story at WTOP>>

National Fisherman Live

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

Inside the Industry

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.

Read more...

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.

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