Expect to Pay More for Blue Crabs This Summer

by Ryan Hauck | July 16, 2013 5:24 pm

If you order blue crab this summer, don’t be surprised if you feel a pinch in your wallet. The Chesapeake Bay’s blue crab population has dived from 765 million to 300 million within the last year, WKTR reports[1].

As blue crabs become increasingly difficult to get a hold of, the laws of supply and demand are driving prices up. One Virginia market reported an $8 increase in the cost of a dozen male crabs, or “Jimmies,” from $18 to $26 this summer.

Wildlife officials are reluctant to blame the crabs’ increasing absence on overfishing, instead suggesting that cause might lie in a poor spawning season. Notably, there has been an uptick in the bay’s juvenile red drum, a known predator of the crabs’ offspring.

But before anyone gets too blue, the Virginia Marine Resources Commission offers a reason to stay optimistic. Even as the population falls as a whole, there’s been a huge increase in the number of female adult crabs, meaning that the crabs’ mating problem might not last for long.

Endnotes:
  1. WKTR reports: http://wtkr.com/2013/07/15/blue-crab-population-down-prices-up/

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