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

Legislators from Connecticut and Massachusetts complained about the current “out-of-date allocation formula” in black sea bass, summer flounder and scup fisheries in a letter to the U.S. Department of Commerce earlier this week.

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The Southeast Alaska Fishermen’s Alliance recently announced that the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation has awarded the organization a Hollings Grant to reduce whale entanglements in Alaska salmon fisheries by increasing the use of acoustic whale pingers to minimize entanglements in fishing gear.

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