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September 26, 2008

Chesapeake Bay Blues

Well, it’s official. NOAA has declared a state of disaster for the Chesapeake Bay blue crab fishery due to poor environmental conditions leading to commercial failure. The declaration means probable funding for the watermen hard hit by the economics of the situation, and hopefully, it means the crabs will get a chance to recover from overfishing, compounded by pollution and warming waters. The crabs’ numbers have fallen by more than 70 percent since the 1990s — did you get that? — 70 percent in less than two decades. What would the Chesapeake Bay region be without its signature dish, crab cakes? If this disaster declaration doesn’t spur real environmental action, we may some day find out.[Image: NOAA]