Monday, September 30, 2013

A Better Way to Manage...

Via The Baltimore Sun:

By: Jenn Aiosa and Mark Bryer

It's been five years since the Chesapeake Bay blue crab fishery was declared a disaster, and despite progress using science-based guidelines for protecting female crabs, the iconic Chesapeake crustacean is still not out of the woods. The Baltimore Sun's call for management change ("Blue outlook for blue crabs," Sept. 18) hits the mark; the bay's blue crab needs better management based on baywide total catch limits, allocations among the states and licensed fishermen and much greater accountability for all blue crab harvesting.
The idea of fishing allocations for the Chesapeake Bay blue crabs isn't new; University of Maryland economist Doug Lipton and fishery biologist Tom Miller made a compelling case for quota-based management after the 2008 blue crab population crash. Messrs. Lipton and Miller stated in a Washington Post commentary and subsequent Bay Journal article that science-based annual population surveys must continue and be used as the basis for setting a cap on the number of crabs that can be harvested each year. They recommended that the harvest cap be divided among jurisdictions and licensed crabbers and that complete and timely harvest reporting be required to monitor the catch and ensure that harvest caps are not exceeded.
Click here to read the rest of the article...
As one Chesapeake Bay fishing guru put it..."What if the Chesapeake crab crash isn't the fault of rockfish and redfish? What if we just catch too many too fast?" A very valid question to think about...


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