Crab Crisis Continues - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Crab Picker Crisis Continues in Dorchester County

Posted: May 16, 2018 7:33 PM Updated:


HOOPERS ISLAND, Md.- Crab houses owners in Dorchester County are learning new ways to survive without their crab pickers. For some this mean selling products other than crabs, like menhaden.

"We've never been in this situation before. I do not know if we're going to be able to make it or not because, the picking is the biggest part of our business and we need that real bad, " says Harry Phillips, owner of Russell Hall Seafood.

This issue is not only affecting crab house owners.

Joseph Ruark, who has been a waterman for most of his life, says he's also feeling the consequences of the lack of workers.

"It's a trickle down effect all the way down the route. Here, my fishing business, the local stores here in Hoopers Island, the Walmart in Cambridge. It affects everything," said Ruark.

Phillips agrees.

"It's a domino effect, most certainly. It goes all the way down the line to the people we buy boxes from. We're not going to need any boxes because we don't have anything to put in them," he added.

Earlier this month U.S. Homeland Security said it would release 15,000 more H2-B visas but, it's unclear exactly when this will happen and how many of those will come to Maryland.

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