2021 Blue Crab Advisory Report says crabs are not being overfished



A Winter Dredge Survey indicates the blue crab population in the Chesapeake Bay decreased from 405 million in 2020 to 282 million in 2021. Photo by Chris Valdrighi

The Chesapeake Bay Program recently released the 2021 Blue Crab Advisory Report, which finds that the overall Chesapeake Bay blue crab population is not being overfished and is not depleted.

Experts from the Chesapeake Bay Stock Assessment Committee reviewed the results from the annual bay-wide Winter Dredge Survey, released in May 2021 by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, as well as harvest figures from the previous seasons to provide an in-depth picture of the Chesapeake’s blue crab population and to make suggestions for any needed changes to regulations.

“All of us who love blue crabs benefit from the science-based analysis and discussion in the Blue Crab Advisory Report,” said Sean Corson, director of the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office and chairman of the Sustainable Fisheries Goal Implementation Team. “The report helps state resource managers set limits that…

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