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The crab industry needs foreign workers to survive

Pickers work at Lindy’s Seafood on Hoopers Island, Md.
Pickers work at Lindy’s Seafood on Hoopers Island, Md. (Michael S. Williamson)

I read with great interest the commentary by Aubrey Vincent of Lindy’s Seafood (“Limiting foreign worker visas puts American jobs at risk,” Sept. 3). She proposes a rational approach to keeping the crab picking industry healthy. Here’s hoping our elected officials apply longer term solutions that allow adequate numbers of foreign worker visas so that local companies like Ms. Vincent’s remain a vital part of Maryland’s seafood industry.

For a variety of reasons, the seafood packing industry does not have enough local workers willing to do the work needed to process crabs. That is why foreign workers are vital to the economy of many small towns on our Eastern Shore. It was dismaying to read that some have suggested she move her operation to a more populous area. That would only contribute to the collapse of cherished small towns which many Marylanders celebrate and appreciate.

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Let’s all pitch in to help keep the “Maryland” in Maryland crab cakes and seafood.

Gary N. Michael, Baldwin

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