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News Opinion Readers Respond

To save the bay's crab population, ban catching female crabs [Letter]

As I have written before, no one will mention one of the major solutions to the problem of preserving the state's crab population, which I believe stems from a fear of offending the commercial waterman ("Singing the blues," May 5).

At least five years ago recreational crabbers had our catches reduced from two bushels to one, a 50 percent reduction. Nor can recreational crabbers any longer keep female crabs.

Yet commercial crabbers are still allowed to catch and keep female crabs, and their catches haven't been reduced by half.

You can have all the male crabs in the world, but if you don't have an adequate female population there are going to be fewer crabs being produced. That's common sense, right?

We can't control the number of baby crabs eaten by fish. To some extent, we can control the pollution in the bay, but the lack of grasses, etc., is out of our hands.

The one major things that can be done by both Virginia and Maryland is to stop all harvesting of the female crabs for at least two years. After that we can go back and do all the fancy studies we want.

John G. Schlaffer, Parkville

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