The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is currently working to develop a draft regulatory proposal for blue crabs. Based on the high volume of constructive input offered thus far, DNR is revising its initial draft regulatory proposal, which will be presented at a joint Sport Fish and Tidal Fish Advisory Commission Meeting on Thursday, April 10. Individuals will be offered an opportunity to comment at the Commissions’ meeting, which will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Calvary United Methodist Church, 301 Rowe Blvd. in Annapolis.
“We are encouraged that so many people have expressed their concerns about restoring a healthy blue crab population in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries,” said Frank Dawson, DNR Assistant Secretary for Aquatic Resources. “We also recognize the great economic and social values that blue crabs provide to local businesses and recreational crabbers.”
DNR began scoping preliminary regulatory ideas in February 2008 through a series of seven public and Advisory Commission meetings and an on-going online comment process. The revised draft regulatory concepts reflect substantive changes based on the more than 600 comments received from recreational and commercial crabbers, local businesses, conservation organizations and concerned citizens. Continued coordination with Virginia provided the opportunity to manage a multi-jurisdiction natural resource cooperatively to meet a conservation goal based on the blue crab winter dredge survey results.
Individuals may view and comment on the revised draft regulatory proposal at the April 10 meeting and on the DNR website at http://www.dnr.state.md.us/fisheries/regulations/draftregulations.html