Non-Profit Hopes To Help Rebuild Blue Crab Population - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Non-Profit Hopes To Help Rebuild Blue Crab Population

Posted: Updated:

TILGHMAN ISLAND, Md. - This year's long winter is hurting one of Maryland's biggest industries: crabbing.

A new study says the number of spawning-age female crabs has dropped below the minimum safe level, forecasting another hard summer for Watermen on the shore.

"Last year was a tough summer for us," says Talbot County waterman Jeff Harrison.

This year's crabbing season could be much more of the same.

An annual survey of the Chesapeake Bay shows 28 percent of all adult crabs have died.  The main culprit is apparently the long, cold winter apparently starved out the hibernating crustaceans.

It's something Morrison says waterman have noticed for months "the last month of the oyster season, we noticed crabs...you know...dying."

Another problem watermen have seen: less bay grass is leaving soft,shedding crabs more vulnerable.

"The crabs when they shed have nowhere to go to hide, and they're being eaten by other predators," says Harrison.

That's one of the reasons marine biologist, Kelley Phillips Cox is starting the Phillips Wharf Environmental Center on Tilghman Island.

"We're hoping that we will establish aquaculture alongside of the wild harvest," says Phillips Cox, "we're hoping that we can help restore the bay to productivity."

The center, based in an old oyster and crab house, plans to show teach people how the community can work together to help build up the bay.  

It's a cause close to Phillips Cox.  "I'm from a waterman family and I don't want to see that heritage go away," she says.

Harrison keeps a positive outlook on the upcoming crabbing season, "hopefully we can get through this summer."

There is some good news for young crabs, the number of juvenile crabs increased and last year's harvest remained at a safe level for the sixth year in a row.

 

  • ContestsMore>>

  • Midway Speedway Giveaway

    Midway Speedway Giveaway

    Thursday, June 26 2014 7:57 AM EDT2014-06-26 11:57:18 GMT
    Enter to win a Midway Speedway Four Person Park Pass This includes all day at the waterpark, four choice tickets (good for any ride or attraction) and a round of fire mountain golf. Rules No purchaseMore >>
    Enter to win a Midway Speedway Four Person Park Pass This includes all day at the waterpark, four choice tickets (good for any ride or attraction) and a round of fire mountain golf. Rules No purchaseMore >>
  • Teacher Who Makes A Difference

    Teacher Who Makes A Difference

    The WMDT 47 Teachers Who Make a Difference Contest is Sponsored by Accurate Optical: "Encouraging children of all ages to come in for an annual eye exam to help them see better in school." Each month weMore >>
    The WMDT 47 "Teachers Who Make a Difference" Sponsored by Accurate Optical Encouraging children of all ages to come in for an annual eye exam to help them see better in school.More >>
  • Free Tuition Contest

    Free Tuition Contest

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Homeless Sex Offenders

    Homeless Sex Offenders

    DELAWARE - Individuals featured in this slideshow are NOT wanted. They are sex offenders who have registered with Delaware State Police as homeless. These are public notifications.More >>
    DELAWARE - Individuals featured in this slideshow are NOT wanted. They are sex offenders who have registered with Delaware State Police as homeless. These are public notifications.More >>
  • Police Arrest 2 In Shooting At Del. Parking Lot

    Police Arrest 2 In Shooting At Del. Parking Lot

    Sunday, July 27 2014 3:54 PM EDT2014-07-27 19:54:46 GMT
    BEAR, Del. (AP) - Delaware State Police have arrested two suspects in a shooting at a shopping center parking lot in Bear. Police announced Sunday that troopers have arrested 18-year-old Brandon BurnsMore >>
    BEAR, Del. (AP) - Delaware State Police have arrested two suspects in a shooting at a shopping center parking lot in Bear.More >>
Powered by WorldNow
Powered by WorldNow All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WMDT. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.