Two years ago, you could pretty much bank on it: Leave the dock at 5:30 or 6 a.m. and be back by 9 with a bushel or so of scrappy male crabs. Then it was just a matter of hooking up the cooker, herding the crabs into the steamer and sitting back for the 25 minutes or so it takes to turn them red and scrumptious.
In the evening it was crabs for six or eight or however many you could gather, followed by a picking session that left you with a pound or two of flaky white meat for crabcakes. That was the norm, from June to September, as it had been for the decade or more since I took up crabbing and for a century before that. Sometimes it was more than a bushel, sometimes less, but always there was a proper mess for supper if you took the trouble to go out.
Last year the bottom fell out. No one is quite sure why, but after an initial run in June, the crabs went scarce. It was eerie, because even in mediocre crabbing years, you catch a lot of little throwbacks, and in the fall there were always many females, which recreational crabbers are required to toss back for conservation. (Commercial crabbers, for inscrutable reasons, are allowed to keep females.)
Read the full story at Post and Courier>>
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National Fisherman Live: 12/16/14
In this episode, Bruce Buls, WorkBoat's technical editor, interviews Long Island lobsterman John Aldridge, who survived for 12 hours after falling overboard in the dead of night. Aldridge was the keynote speaker at the 2014 Pacific Marine Expo, which took place Nov. 19-21 in Seattle.
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.