To give our customers the freshest crabs and oysters, we contract with over 100 local American fishermen. So when we weren’t selected for the lottery last year — there were applications for 96,000 workers and only 33,000 were approved — it was heartbreaking and scary for everyone. Our own families, the Americans we employ, the fishermen we work with, and the restaurants and vendors we supply all worried about making ends meet. Worse, we didn’t find out we were going to be 100 people down until a few weeks before the season kicked into high gear. Our limited staff was forced to sell more whole crabs at a lower price instead of freshly picked Maryland crab meat, which is our real moneymaker. In the end, it cut our company revenue in half.