Crab Numbers Down, Prices up - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Crab Numbers Down, Prices up

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

CAMBRIDGE, Md.- Just over a month into the crabbing season and so far the crabs are not piling up.

Maryland's winter dredge survey shows blue crabs in the Chesapeake Bay to be down nearly 40 percent. There are a variety of theories behind the low numbers: everything from cold weather, Hurricane Sandy, and a high number of rockfish which prey on crabs.

"Its not good news about the crab population in the winter dredge survey, we certainly don't know what happened to those crabs," said Jack Brooks, co-owner of J.M. Clayton's Seafood in Cambridge.

If the season does not turn around- and turn around fast- it could cost you a fortune to purchase crabs this year.

"Expect to pay more for crabs this season than they did last year especially if this trend continues," Brooks said.

Richard Lalka of Cambridge said blue crabs are his favorite but if the prices start to soar, he will have to pass.

"I wouldn't buy them, once you start getting into the $80 to $90 range, its just too much money for crabs," Lalka said.

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