Why Is There a Blue Crab Famine in Maryland?

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We send our children to school, we send them to university,” he said. “A person doesn’t go to high school, elementary school, or community college for some kind of fishing and they don’t become a waterman. You don’t train your kids to collect crabs.” Seasonal workers have traditionally filled a critical workforce gap, he said.

Democrat Heather Mizeur, a candidate for Congress from a district on Maryland’s East Coast, said the Biden administration could help address labor shortages by allowing more temporary visas. “The coastal seafood industry desperately needs a reliable workforce to process the crabs harvested by our watermen,” Ms Mizeur said in an email.

While crabs in the upper Chesapeake Bay near Baltimore have been luckier in terms of supply this year, Mr Brown said fishing in the Potomac River hasn’t yielded many crabs. blue catfish It has become an invasive species that feeds on crab in the Chesapeake Bay.

“It really looks like a perfect storm,” said Mr Mills of the True Chesapeake Oyster Company.

In Baltimore, restaurateur John Minadakis said the smell of steamed crab often fills the air during the summer months, and the price hike has hindered restaurants trying to return.

“It hurts us at a terrible time,” he said. “Summer in Baltimore is crab season. There’s nothing like sitting outside with your friends, cracking crab and having a local beer. It’s a Maryland pastime.”

Mr Minadakis, owner Jimmy’s Famous Seafoodsaid it should raise the price of crab cakes and lower the price of drinks to offset the rising costs of its blue-collar customers who buy together.

“The only option I never thought of was to change the recipe because my father made the recipe 47 years ago,” he said. “When you think Jimmy is, you think crab cakes.”

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