Virginia Marine Resources Commission

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - An annual survey by marine officials shows a significant increase in the number of blue crabs in the Chesapeake Bay.

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission says the overall bay-wide crab population increased from 297 million crabs to 411 million crabs, a 38 percent increase. The increased numbers followed regulations by Virginia, Maryland and the Potomac Fisheries Commission that reduced commercial crab harvests by 10 percent. Officials say that reduction helped rebuild the population.

creative commons

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) - A group of commercial watermen is asking Virginia officials to implement new measures to strengthen blue crab population management in the state.

The Virginia Blue Crab Industry Panel is seeking formal consideration of its recommendations from the Virginia Marine Resources Commission.

This summer the commission reduced the harvest of female blue crabs by 10 percent over the next year.

U.S. Coast Guard Seal

CAPE CHARLES, Va. (AP) - The search for an 8-year-old boy who went missing off Cape Charles Beach has turned to a recovery effort.

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission said the search turned to a recovery mission on Monday morning. Equipment was pulled from the water Monday night. It was to be redeployed Tuesday.

Media outlets report the boy was last see swimming at the beach on Sunday. The boy's grandmother says his family is from New Jersey and was visiting relatives in Chesapeake.

creative commons

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia is marking its largest oyster harvest in more than 25 years.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced on Monday that the state's oyster harvest jumped 25 percent last year to the highest seen since 1987.

Over the past 12 years, Virginia's oyster harvest has increased from 23,000 bushels in 2001 to about 504,000 bushels last year. The harvest numbers include wild oysters and those grown in aquaculture farms.

The dockside value of the oyster harvest increased to $22.2 million last year, up from $16.2 million in 2012.

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) - Marine officials in Virginia are weighing plans to reduce the harvest of female blue crabs.

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission will take public comment Tuesday on a proposal to reduce the harvest of female blue crabs by 10 percent over the next year beginning July 5.

Officials say the move would help increase spawning potential and help reverse the depleted condition of female blue crabs.

blue crab,

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) - Virginia watermen are getting an extra two weeks to harvest blue crabs from the Chesapeake Bay.

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission voted unanimously Monday to extend the harvest through Dec. 15.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that the extension is part of a compromise with watermen and conservationists. The deal also requires a new collection system in 2013 that's expected to limit catches of blue crabs.