Maryland Officials Scared Of Overfishing Both “Male” And “Girl” Crabs

Sorry: You caught us using the Ippolito’s terminology, which always raises a smile. (Why are males “male” but females “girls”? And what does this say about… oh, never mind, we almost don’t wanna know.) But the crab situation two states south is no laughing matter:

State regulators suggested barring watermen from catching female crabs during certain months and prohibiting recreational crabbers from catching females at all. They also suggested setting a limit on the bushels of female crabs that professional watermen could land during one day.

Overall, officials said, the aim is to reduce by 20 to 40 percent the harvest of females, which account for about half of the total Maryland catch. That could put a major pinch on some watermen, who rely heavily on crabs now that the bay’s traditional oyster fishery has almost collapsed.

Regulators said the crab population had fallen so far that gentler measures would not work.

This matches up with what we’ve been hearing anecdotally about the delicious Maryland crab for years — that the area has simply been overfished and is now in a very dangerous state — and frankly, nothing makes us sadder. Not only is the endgame a pricier crab at your favorite fishery or crab joint, but also, horror, sometimes no crabs at all. We even hear that some local joints that purport to serve Maryland blues are even having their crabs flown in from the Gulf of Mexico, which, it must be said, produces a larger, meatier crab, but still: These blues are our birthright.
Inky: An Inconvenient Truth, Crab Edition


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