In spite of two bad years for crabbing in the Bay, our neighbor in White Stone is optimistic at the start of a new season. The picture shows his 200 pots freshly painted and ready to go last weekend. Usually they are green, but due to some manufacturing problem, the antifouling paint is yellow this year. Hopefully the crabs will find yellow an attractive color.
The VMRC has published a press release with a preliminary look at the winter dredge survey results. (http://www.mrc.virginia.gov/VMRC_2015_Crab_WDS_Survey_Results.pdf).
And this article in the New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/03/opinion/sunday/manil-suri-mathematicians-and-blue-crabs.html?ref=opinion&_r=0 , registration on nytimes.com required) talks about the mathematical models used to predict the crab population. The article makes the point that these models are often not accurate predictors.
The VMRC press release comments that ‘Spawning-age females are the cornerstone of stock rebuilding’. But Virginia’s restrictions on keeping sponge crabs are looser than Maryland’s. VMRC plans a public hearing on the crab regulations for May 26.
– Gary Greenwood