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DNR Lifts Restrictions For Catching Female Blue Crabs

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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—More crabs. A healthier outlook for the Chesapeake Bay means the Department of Natural Resources has lifted some restrictions for commercial crabbers.

Andrea Fujii explains these changes may affect your dinner plans.

Business is booming at Lowers’ Crab Shack and Market. They have more orders than they have crabs.

But this fall they’ll meet more of their demand when the Department of Natural Resources increases the catch limits for female blue crabs.

“It definitely helps us,” said Jesse Lowers, local crabber. “It puts more money on the boat to pay our expenses every day.”

The DNR made the decision after the blue crab winter dredge survey showed the crab population is at the second highest level since 1997. Experts say this increase won’t affect rebuilding the crab population.

“When guided by science and we put the right restrictions in place it can actually lead to a much larger and growing and sustainable resource,” said Gov. Martin O’Malley.

Starting September through Nov. 10, licensed commercial crabbers can catch two more bushels a day–up to 12. Commercially licensed crabbers are prohibited from harvesting female crabs between June 1 and June 15.

Right now Lowers brings in 45 bushels a day, and he expects that number to significantly rise.

That’s good news for crab lovers.

“The more crabs, the lower the price,” said Lowers.

The DNR says all other commercial and recreational crabbing regulations will remain the same.

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