On Smith Island, Crab Is Everything. What happens when no one’s around to catch Maryland’s prized blue crab?

It’s the hottest day of the summer on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and at a tiki bar that doesn’t serve alcohol on a windless island in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay, two teenage boys appear, one holding up a small, live blue crab. “Hey Steve, will you cook this for me?” the boy holding the crab asks Steve Dunlap, who’s behind the bar.  “Aw, put it back, Robert,” Dunlap says. Robert sulkily obliges, letting the crab scuttle off into the bay, but makes it clear that he wasn’t going to kill it. Here, on Smith Island, Maryland, there is an overpowering respect, almost a reverence, for the blue crab. At the dead center of the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, 12 miles from Maryland’s shore, Smith is a central part of the Maryland crabbing industry, and has been for generations. Here, crab is everything: Food, money, work, family, tradition, history. Crab is life. But it might not be for very much longer. click here to read the story 09:36