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Overharvesting is decimating the populations of marine life worldwide. Crabs are affected by overharvesting to the same extent that fish are. The Crab Shack only serves crab that were caught using sustainable crabbing methods. After all, we cannot serve you crab if all the crabs have been taken from our waterways.
How to Sustainably Harvest Crab
There are regulations set by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources that must be followed when crabbing. Crabs have to meet a minimum size requirement to be kept, and Maryland allows both soft-shelled and hard-shelled crabs to be kept. Egg-bearing females must be released back into the water. These regulations ensure that a young, viable breeding population will be able to support next year’s harvest.
Some commercial crabbing operations take it one step farther and throw back any mature females, whether or not they are bearing eggs. Although Maryland does not require this, this is an excellent way to maintain a healthy population of crabs. Some commercial boats also use special crab traps that are less likely to harm the crabs as they are pulled up. Any crabs that are thrown back need to be healthy and unharmed if they are going to make it to breeding age.
Daily Limits and Equipment Restrictions
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources sets daily catch limits per boat. The limits vary depending on whether you are unlicensed or carry a commercial crabbing license. Catch limits are set to keep the crab population from being hit too hard by fishermen. The state can change these limits should they feel that the population of crabs is becoming too low.
Maryland also has restrictions on the type of equipment used to catch crabs. Only manually closed traps can be used in the state of Maryland. This promotes sustainable crabbing so that the crabs are fresh, not deceased when they are brought up. The Crab Shack condemns any fishing organization that uses illegal spring-loaded crab traps.
Come to the Crab Shack for Dinner
You do not have to feel guilty when eating at The Crab Shack. Our crabs are caught using sustainable crabbing methods following the Maryland Department of Natural Resource’s crabbing guidelines. You can call The Crab Shack at 443-302-2680 or 443-837-6279 to schedule a reservation at either one of our two locations. We are proudly serving both the Crofton and Edgewater locations.