NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) — Virginia regulators will hold a public hearing next month on whether to continue a ban on the winter harvest of blue crabs.

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission must enact the ban on a year-to-year basis. The commission has done so for the past three years.

The Daily Press reports that the commission scheduled an August public hearing at its meeting Tuesday.

Commission members say the ban on the winter crab dredge in the Chesapeake Bay is needed to rebuild the crab population.

Commission member Steven Bowman says the fishery hasn’t fully recovered from years of overfishing and pollution.

Last year, 89 million pounds of crab were harvested in Virginia and Maryland, the largest amount since 1993.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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