National Fisherman

BALTIMORE — If you are one of the early birds looking for crabs this season, you've probably been disappointed. Maryland is one of many states experiencing a crab shortage.

Tim Williams has more on the reasons why.

The early bird may get the worm but for now in Maryland, the crab may be harder for early birds to find.

The Maryland crab season begins on April 1. Local supply comes from southern states until blue crabs follow warmer temperatures into the area closer to summer.

Steve Vilnit with the Department of Natural Resources explains the dilemma.

"What's happening right now is there are no crabs coming out of Louisiana and the Gulf Coast and basically restaurants and retail stores that feature crabs year round are having a tough time finding it and are not being able to satisfy customers' demands," Vilnit said.

"It's been a terrible winter, actually. We've been off...about 40 percent off of what we had over last year," said Randy Bielski, Ocean Pride Seafood.

Live crabs have been scarce to none for at least three weeks. Louisiana crabbers have struggled on and off since Katrina and the Gulf oil spill. And while no reason is identified for this shortage, local retailers like Ocean Pride in Lutherville suspect weather is partly to blame.

"We hope once the weather warms up, the crabs come out of the mud, then all the sudden they start biting like last year," Bielski said.

Read the full story at CBS Baltimore>>

Inside the Industry

Abe Williams, who was elected to the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board last spring, has been selected as the new president as of September.

Williams fishes the F/V Crimson Fury, and is president of Nuna Resources, a nonprofit that supports sustainable resource development in rural Alaska, including fighting for an international solution to issues raised by the proposed Pebble Mine project.


The Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi is teaming up with leading shark-tracking nonprofit Ocearch to build the most extensive shark-tagging program in the Gulf of Mexico region.

In October, Ocearch is bringing its unique research vessel, the M/V Ocearch, to the gulf for a multi-species study to generate previously unattainable data on critical shark species, including hammerhead, tiger and mako sharks.

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