Overharvest means changes coming to Louisiana blue-crab fishery

blue-crabs-hopedalejpg-dc4bd1b64022cab0Most bays and tidal lakes in Louisiana these days look like obstacle courses, where the first boater to make it across without wrapping a crab-trap line in his prop wins. Hard to believe that less than half a century ago, the crab trap hadn’t yet been invented. Now, they’re more prevalent in state marshes than mosquitoes. All those wire cages mean it’s getting harder for female crabs to run the gauntlet and make it to the salty waters of the coast to lay their eggs. As a result, Louisiana has seen a concerning decline in its blue-crab population, according to Jeff Marx, a crustacean biologist with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Marx has spent two of the last 10 days explaining to two different boards the challenges currently facing Louisiana’s crab population. The first presentation was to the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission, the regulatory board that ultimately will make decisions on how to attack the problem. The second was to the state’s blue-crab task force, which serves as a policy liaison between the department and crabbers in the field. Read the rest here 15:11

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