CAMBRIDGE, Md.- Last month, crabs were very abundant in Maryland, but there was no place to process them. It's predicted to be a strong season, and with the workers now in place, consumers could stand to benefit, as well as watermen.
The peeler pens are filling up, and the crab pickers are getting to work. The crab season is underway in Maryland. But those workers are a recent addition.
"The original request date, we wanted to open on April 1. Especially with the mild winter we had. Unfortunately that's not how things worked out. They just got here Saturday, so today was the first day that we have been able to pick crab meat like we normally would," said Aubrey Vincent at Lindy's Seafood.
Being strung along by a convoluted visa process is not something these buyers enjoy.
"Frustrating is an understatement. It's really hard to plan, it's really hard to make business decisions, it's been difficult to provide work to the employees I have year round," said Vincent.
But Vincent now has this new peeler pen and her workers, so things are looking up.
"I'm hoping it's a good year for everyone," she said.
Right now though things are taking a bit of a back seat, as the weeks of lousy weather have taken their toll.
"Essentially I think the cold weather hurt some things, but I believe the females are sponging up and they are getting ready to shed so it's definitely going to drop off for a few weeks," said Josh Parker, owner of TL Morris Seafood.
In April, crabs were more plentiful than Parker has seen before the drop-off. The crabs could come back by memorial day.
"As long as the crabs are decent and there's enough of them, the prices might be a little less, but it might be past then that prices come down," said Parker.
That will definitely put a smile on the face of crab connoisseurs, both young and old this summer