National Fisherman


In a deal favored by conservationists, regulators and watermen, Virginia will allow blue crabs to be harvested from the Chesapeake Bay an extra two weeks this year but will require a new collection system next year that's expected to limit catches of the prized seafood.

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission voted unanimously for the compromise package Monday, which comes as seafood interests look to take advantage of a crab resurgence in recent years and as conservationists worry about blowing such gains.

Under the terms, watermen can continue gathering crabs through Dec. 15 - just in time for the holiday season - instead of stopping next week. Officials estimate an additional 350,000 pounds of crabs will be brought to market.

Read the full story at the Virginian-Pilot>>

Inside the Industry

The Northeast Trawl Advisory Panel working group is scheduled to meet Aug. 2 in Boston to discuss using commercial fishing vessels to supplement current stock assessment surveys conducted by the Northeast Fisheries Science Center.

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Pat Fiorelli, the long-serving public affairs officer for the New England Fishery Management Council, will step down at the end of July.

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