Delmarva Fisheries Association push back against MDNR report of decreasing crab population in Chesapeake Bay
May 20, 2022
MARYLAND – The Delmarva Fisheries Association is pushing back against a Maryland DNR report that found a record low amount of blue crabs in the Chesapeake Bay.
The report measured the female spawning crab and young male crab populations and found both were down compared to last year. But captain Rob Newberry of the Delmarva Fisheries Association says that report doesn’t present the entire picture.
He says the DNR only tests one location when making their assessment, and that a milder winter season meant that some blue crabs decided to burrow in other locations. But Newberry tells us that going on what he is hearing from watermen the crab numbers seem to be increasing in terms of harvest counts.
“My crabbers right now are seeing a load of little crabs from both the north bay and lower bay there are a lot of small little white crabs and as far as the male crabs go the report is a report historically every time we get a bad report we get a good season,’ he said.
The Captain also says – he thinks the decreasing number of blue crabs shown in the report could be a result of factory pollution from factories along the Patapsco River in Baltimore and Climate Change. He tells us he wants to see the report reflect the changing environmental conditions and, in his words, better reflect the current crab conditions.
UPDATED: The Chesapeake Bay Foundation says, “a total of 1500 sites in waters deeper than 5 feet are randomly selected. The number of sites assigned in each region is proportional to its area.”