ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland and Virginia will end their respective crabbing seasons early this year, following a report indicating a drop in the Chesapeake Bay blue crab population.
News outlets report that the Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced Tuesday that its crab season will end Nov. 20, 10 days earlier than 2016’s extended season.
The Virginia Marine Resources Commission voted 6-1 in a public hearing to end the season Nov. 30 and reopen it March 17, 2018, amounting to 16 fewer days than last year’s extended season.
Each state also imposed late-season bushel limits.
The crabbing curb comes after the Chesapeake Bay Program released a report Monday that stated juvenile crab numbers had fallen 54 percent over the past year, resulting in an 18 percent drop in the overall blue crab population.