Today the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) released a report on this year’s Chesapeake blue crab numbers. The VMRC stated that a total of 297 million blue crabs are in the Chesapeake, based on their winter dredge survey from earlier this year. From this number, there are less than 70 millions females of spawning age. Blue crab numbers were extremely low last year, raising the cost of seafood, and limiting the work and income of Chesapeake watermen. This year’s harvest will be as bad, if not slightly worse than last year, with a further depleted blue crab population. It seems likely that Virginia and Maryland will enforce a reduction in harvest to ensure a healthier crab population for next year. The long winter and cold water temperatures were cited as a major factor for low numbers; the VMRC estimates that 28% of the Maryland adult crab population died from prolonged low water temperatures.