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

Pink shrimp is the first fishery managed by Washington to receive certification from the global Marine Stewardship Council fisheries standard for sustainable, wild-caught seafood.

The state’s fishery was independently assessed as a scope extension of the MSC certified Oregon pink shrimp fishery, which achieved certification to the MSC standard in December 2007 and attained recertification in February 2013.


NMFS has awarded 16 grants totaling more than $2.5 million as part of its Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.

The program supports the development of technological solutions and changes in fishing practices designed to minimize bycatch and aims to to find creative approaches and strategies for reducing bycatch, seabird interactions, and post-release mortality in federally managed fisheries.

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