CRISFIELD, Md.- Maryland’s blue crab season ends on Thursday, Dec. 1. Robert Newberry, chairman of the Delmarva Fisheries Association, says that after a rough start, the season picked up.
“It started out a little on the rough side… because the state had said there weren’t as many little crabs,” said Newberry. “But we found basically baywide, you know, there were a fair amount of little crabs. Especially in the northern bay at the start of the season.”
Newberry says the season hit its peak at the midway point.
“A load of crabs were caught in the last month, month and a half of the season,” said Newberry. “There were a lot of crabs that were what we call white crabs which are paper shells, a lot of the guys in the northern bay threw them back because there was no market for it those crabs grew to be bigger crabs and they’re going to be there next year I think this year will be better than next year.”
But the watermen ran into an issue on land. There was little demand for crabs from the public.
“The problem was we had more crabs but half the price we were getting last year. Towards the end of the season we were getting 200 a bushel. It went to 90 this year,” said Newberry. “People didn’t have that extra luxury money to spend because by the time they get off and steamed and on the market, they’re 200 a bushel. It was quite a hit for these guys to take. Everything else our bait was through the roof our fuel was through the roof but the price of crabs wasn’t.”
Newberry says he is hoping for a better season come next year.