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Feb 05,2008
Maryland crab harvest near record-low
by UPI

BALTIMORE - The blue crab harvest from the Chesapeake Bay is almost at its lowest level in three decades, Maryland officials said Monday.

The harvest has dropped to about 22 million pounds for 2007, the lowest since 2000, when Maryland and Virginia both restricted harvests, The Baltimore Sun reported Monday.

During the 2007 winter dredge survey, when scientists count young crabs as they burrow in the mud, officials reported seeing the second-lowest numbers of juvenile crabs since the annual survey began in 1989, the newspaper reported.

"We are very concerned about the health of the Chesapeake Bay crab population and our fishery," said Maryland Department of Natural Resources Assistant Secretary Frank Dawson. "We're concerned we have been harvesting too much of our population."

© 2008 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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