NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Regulators of Virginia’s fisheries have decided to extend the traditional crab pot season. And they say it shouldn’t have a big impact on the crab populations in the Chesapeake Bay.
The Virginian-Pilot reported Thursday that the Virginia Marine Resources Commission extended the crab pot season by 20 days, until Dec. 19. The goal is to make up for losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The commission said that social distancing restrictions and stay-at-home orders have cut demand at restaurants.
“Based on estimates of abundance and the lack of fishing effort during the early period of the pandemic, researchers believe the extended season will have minimal impact on annual harvest,” the commission said.
Chris Moore, senior ecosystem scientist with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, said that “the concern was that watermen had a hard year and with crab populations relatively stable and healthy, we could do this.”
He added: “The commission struck a good balance here.”
The commission estimates that the extension would add something like 100,000 to 200,000 pounds to the annual harvest.
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