Tuesday, May 06, 2008
Chesapeake Bay: we continue to deplete our natural resources.
(photo taken in the Chesapeake is from THIS SITE. Click to enlarge. It's gorgeous)
THE MOMENT that Chesapeake Bay watermen had been dreading arrived Tuesday. Faced with a dire drop in the blue crab harvest, the governors of Maryland and Virginia announced sharp new limits on the volume of sooks (as female crabs, the ones generally used to make crab cakes, are known) that can be taken from the bay's waters. The new rules mean that inevitably, and through little fault of their own, some watermen will be driven out of business and out of the only way of life they have known.
Read the rest of the article from The Washington Post HERE
Personl Note: I spent a month in the Chesapeake Bay on my sailboat trip in the late seventies. The Bay hadn't yet been polluted by population overgrowth and unaffordable condos all along the once gorgeous shores and harbors. The upper bay was in trouble with water pollution but steps were being taken already to clean things. Anyone in a small boat could crab and we did just that while anchored at St Michaels. What confuses me is that NO female crabs could be kept. You faced a stiff fine if found with one on your boat, whether private or commercial. The law made good sense. The females were responsible for keeping the Bay populated and crabs were plentiful then.
It seems that somewhere along the line the laws changed...or perhaps more lenient laws were in effect with a commercial liscense that the general public wasn't told about. Females have a distinctive red marking on their bellies, however, and I never saw any in restaurants or stores that sold crab. Sometimes we think the planet will provide for us forever. I think not.