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Delaware Bay Crab Fishermen Hopeful But Wary As 2013 Season Opens

(A live blue claw crab.  File photo by Jay Lloyd)

(A live blue claw crab. File photo by Jay Lloyd)

John McDevitt John McDevitt
John McDevitt has been a reporter and editor at KYW Newsradio 1060...
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By John McDevitt

CAPE MAY, N.J. (CBS) — The blue crab trapping season in Delaware Bay, off the coast of New Jersey, officially starts today.

We spoke with a bay crabber who has concerns about the crustaceans’ population this year.

Scott Bailey, a bay waterman and member of New Jersey’s Delaware Bay Shell Fisheries Council, says cold temperatures and the possibility that Hurricane Sandy had an impact on the migration of the crabs could mean longer-than-normal waits for the crabs to be caught in “pots,” or traps.

And he says that could affect the market and what you pay at stores and restaurants.

“In a normal year they start potting south (waters of the southern portion of the United States) and go through their big cycle of runs as it gets more northern and the temperatures warms up,” he explains.  “But if you get two or three areas and a bunch of crabs at once, it can make the market soft.   Or if you get places with no crabs because they’re already done potting, it could make the market real tight and the market go way up.”

Bailey says it will take a few weeks to see how things are shaping up.

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