BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s not Fourth of July without Maryland crabs. But this year, you better get them early. And unfortunately, it will cost you more.

Linh Bui has details on the slow summer season.

It’s a summertime staple, especially for a big holiday weekend. But if crab is on your menu, don’t wait too long to buy.

“Try to get their orders in early because the availability of crabs is not real good right now,” said Sonny Norris.

Norris owns Norris Seafood. He says July Fourth is one of his biggest holidays. But this year, supply is down.

The main reason there are fewer crabs is because it was a cold spring, and that summer got off to a slow start.

That means you’ll dig deeper into your pockets.

Norris says prices are up 20 to 25 percent compared to last year.

“The price of diesel fuel, the price of your crab bait went up. Everything went up. And it’s passed on to the consumer,” Norris said.

But these shoppers say it’s worth it. After all, it’s a Fourth of July tradition.

“It’s once a year and several of us get together. We all pitch in, so it really doesn’t hurt that bad,” said Pat Mullin, who who bought crabs.

“When you love crabs, you love crabs! So you sacrifice other things,” said Lois Berg, who bought crabs.

And Norris says he’s optimistic. He believes crab season will pick up by August.

Norris says they’ve had two bad fall seasons back to back. Last year, storms really flushed the crabs out of the upper bay, so he hopes this year will be better.


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