Report: Blue crab population experiencing modest growth

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The blue crab population has shown modest improvement this year, according to the 2015 Chesapeake Bay winter crab dredge survey.

According to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the total number of crabs was up slightly to 411 million due to increases in both juvenile and adult blue crabs. Most significantly, the number of adult female blue crabs rose from 68 million to 100 million, meaning the population, although still below healthy target levels, is no longer considered "depleted." 

"CBF is very encouraged that despite this winter's harsh weather, all segments of the Bay's blue crab population showed modest increases," said Chesapeake Bay Foundation President William C. Baker in a statement. "CBF is hopeful the increases will lead to better harvests for watermen across the Bay region, especially those who are so dependent on crabs for a significant portion of their livelihood.

"Still, despite these modest increases, it is clear the Bay's blue crab population would be strengthened by improved water quality and crab habitat. The Bay states can do their part by implementing the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint to ensure the ecosystem can support a healthy crab population."


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