Some crab meat prices in Maryland are the lowest they’ve been in years

CAMBRIDGE, Md. – Crab meat prices at certain crab companies in Maryland are the lowest they’ve been in years.

Jack Brooks, a partner at J.M. Clayton Co. said, “Last year, they were probably 5 dollars higher than this, so it’s a good buyers market for crab meat.”

The 2019 Blue Crab Winter Dredge Survey revealed that the Bay-wide blue crab population increased 60% from last year, to an estimated total population of 594 million crabs.

That increase in crabs, has led to a decrease in prices.

Brooks said, “It’s supply and demand, so if you get plenty of supplies and the demand is there but a little too much supply the price goes down.”

Josh Parker, the owner of T.L. Morris Seafood said, “I think the abundance of females is a big part of it. The season hasn’t really got going yet so the retail markets aren’t really selling a lot of females, so they’ve got to do something with them at the moment.”

We’re told good weather and a decline in predators are largely to thank for the abundance of crabs.

Brooks said, “Right now, I understand there is a shortage of striped bass in the bay and they’re at the top of the food chain and they eat a lot of crabs. They eat whatever is out there, so that could be one reason we have more crabs you know? Less fish, more crabs.”

On top of that, we’re told crab companies like J.M. Clayton Co. in Cambridge have had luck with their visa workers so far this year.

Brooks said, “Everybody is staffed up, got visa workers this year, so production in Maryland here is really good right now.”

While the price of crab meat is low, the price for a regular bushel of crabs remains about the same.

Brooks said ,”The smaller crabs are the ones we get the crab meat out of, and then the bigger crabs or premium crabs are the ones people want to go to a restaurant and buy a dozen or take a couple dozen home, you know? So they’re a little scarce, so they’re still a little pricey presently.”

Regardless, the prices for crab meat are currently unbeatable at some places in Cambridge.

Brooks said, “Make sure to buy your crab meat, Maryland crab, ask for Maryland crab.”

If you want to get your hands on some of this crab meat, we’re told the best time to get it is sooner rather than later because prices could go back up around Memorial Day.

Categories: Local News, Maryland