National Fisherman


BALTIMORE — Nothing seems to identify Maryland cuisine more than the blue crab, but a tough start to the season has made way for a lot of foreign crab being used that many might have thought was local.

A new day on the Big Choptank River off Cambridge brings fresh hope to Bill James, 78, a longtime waterman who said this has been the slowest start to the crab season he has ever seen.

"It's less crabs every year," he said.

I-Team reporter Deborah Weiner, who went out with him, saw plenty of lonely bait on his line and just a few of the coveted blue crabs. The state estimated that more than a quarter of the adult crab population was lost this year due to natural predators, coastal currents and a long, cold winter.

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Inside the Industry

The Downeast Salmon Federation has received a major grant from the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities to ensure and improve the water quality of eastern Maine’s most important rivers, according to the Ellsworth American.

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Louisiana crab fishermen and their catch are feeling the pressure of a downturn in the state economy, and a resulting upturn of people entering the fishery.

“It’s a crazy business right now,” said Pete Gerica, the New Orleans fisherman who now serves as president or the Louisiana Crab Task Force, a legislatively-created board of industry voices that makes recommendations to state government.

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