Delaware Bay looks at crab rebound

It could be an up and down year for Delaware Bay watermen, with a strong forecast for blue crab, but near-record low projections for oysters.

Surveys are projecting a solid harvest of around four million pounds for Delaware’s most valuable fishery. DNREC’s Rich Wong says that’s based on the number of juvenile crabs coming into the bay’s population — what biologists call recruitment.

“Typically it’s been below average” in the past 10 to 15 years, Wong says. “This year is right at the long-term average — it’s around a 40-year average — which is good, relatively speaking, for over the past 15 years or so.”

He says the 2016 catch could be close to their best year recently, 2012, when Delaware Bay offered up 4.5 million pounds of blue crab.

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About the author

Jessica Hathaway

Jessica Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman. She has been covering the fishing industry for 13 years, serves on the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute’s Communications Committee and is a National Fisheries Conservation Center board member.

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