crabs

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Crab prices are coming down from an average of $200 a bushel to around $130.

The number of crabs being caught has gone up but demand has still been lower than expected.

Jay Spurry with Bay Hundred Seafood told WBOC that the dip is normal for this time of year as crabbers pick up on where the crabs are in the Bay.

 

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Phillips Seafood held a party yesterday for its 100th birthday at its 20th street restaurant in Ocean City to honor the establishment of the A. E. Phillips seafood packing plant in 1914.

CEO Steve Phillips recalled his maternal grandfather was a waterman on Hooper's Island, who would take him crabbing and oystering when he was a boy.

The 67-year-old Phillips told the celebration that the Phillips family owes its success to Maryland watermen and the Chesapeake Bay.

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Legislation that would impose tighter regulations on food labeling of seafood products has some restaurants who sell blue crabs up in arms.

The measure introduced in the House Environmental Matters Committee in Annapolis would require restaurants to clearly display state of origin for all seafood as well as the state and county of origin for crab products on a sign or menu.

But many opponents of the measure complain that there are potential costs and inconveniences if the new regulations are imposed.

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Not as many crabs are showing up this year on the boats of watermen in the Chesapeake Bay this year.

Jack Brooks, a co-owner at J.M. Clayton Company in Cambridge told WBOC that he believes Hurricane Sandy which killed a large number of crabs last October may be one reason for the decline.

Other reasons he said include an overabundance of striped bass and other fish that are feeding on small crabs.

He said the protected fish like striped bass need to be fished more to even out the ecosystem.

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Crabbing season could be getting off to a slow start this year.

Watermen say they generally see crabs by March…as the oyster season wraps up.

But watermen say they have not.

In Cambridge Waterman Jason Mills told WBOC that last year had been a good season…but that he and others were concerned about what this year might bring.

If the number of crabs does not pick up customers are expected to pay top dollar for the Eastern Shore delicacy. 

 

Demand for crabs is good.

Danny Webster, a waterman from Deal Island, described the supply as overwhelming.

He told the Salisbury Daily Times that down in Somerset County there are more crabs than the market can stand.

Meanwhile, the manager at Higgins Crab House in Ocean City John Oleksak told the paper that there are so many crabs they had to lower their prices on bushels and half bushels by $10.

And in West Ocean City the manger at Hooper’s Crab House, Patrick Brady, said the crabs are a lot heavier than usual.

           

 

      RIVA, Md. (AP) - Crabs in the Chesapeake Bay had an easier winter this year than last when cold killed off nearly a third of them.

     But while the winter was warmer, it followed two major fall storms that dumped tons of trash, mud and sediments into the bay.

     Answers to how the weather has treated the bay's biggest money maker are expected to be released Thursday at a crab house in Riva, where Gov. Martin O'Malley is to make an announcement about the crab fishery.

 

      BALTIMORE (AP) - Chesapeake Bay scientists say underwater grasses declined more than 20 percent last year, a blow to many fish and other species that need the grass to live or breed.

     Heavy rains and snow melt that sent tons of mud and debris into the bay and extreme summer heat are being blamed for the loss of the key habitat.