VMRC Keeps Winter Crab Dredge Closed

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission voted unanimously today against a proposal to reopen the blue crab winter dredge fishery in a limited, tightly controlled pilot program that would not have increased the overall crab harvest. The Commission sited low stock abundance, an anemic crab harvest so far this year, and opposition from the public and from commercial crab potters as factors in their decision to shelve the proposal for the time being. The Commission did vote unanimously to extend this year’s crab pot season until Dec. 15, for the harvest of both male and female crabs, with a reduction in the daily bushel limit next year to off-set the increased fall harvest.