Thursday, July 17, 2008
A CASE OF THE CRABS.
It seems like these days if you make a living tending crab pots in the Chesapeake Bay during the summer months, you had better quit your day job and become a musician or something. Our World-Famous waterway is in bad shape. Even though the Oysters are apparently making a big comeback after a stretch of near extinction, The Blue Crab has reached such low numbers that fishermen and residents are fearful that they are gone for good. A bushel goes for about 200 dollars these days, and if you add 150 to 200 dollars for gas, that is a shitload of money to pony up for an outing on your vacation. Understandably there aren't as many customers for the fishing boats, and many are in dire need for some sort of financial aid.
We Virginians and Marylandians have always been proud of our Bay and our Blue Crab. The annual harvest of these and other "hard" crabs from The Chesapeake Bay accounts for over 50% of total U.S. earnings. They are hands down the Cristal of Crustaceans, but the population drop-off has reached 65 percent and rising. There are a number of theories as to why this is happening; such as Underwater Volcanoes, Fertilizer run-off into the Bay's Watersheds, and Overharvesting.
Now before you start settling with the notion that you will be relegated to Dungeness Crab for the rest of your life, take this into consideration; The Oysters are on a major comeback, and The Bald Eagles are recovering nicely from nearly being wiped out in recent years. All hope is not lost, but cross your fingers, and next time you fertilize your little patch of grass with harsh man-made chemicals, remember that there are some mighty good eats that are being ruined downstream from you.
Chesapeake Bay Foundation
The Philip Merrill Environmental Center
6 Herndon Ave.
Annapolis, MD 21403
Now if this environmentally aware post wasn't cheesy enough for you, here is a little ditty from the 70's I remember hearing as a youngster. C'mon folks, this is the only song about the Bay I could find...
I used to imagine in my 5 year old mind that these guys were on THE FLINTSTONES, and the mean xylophone solo in the middle was played by some dude on a giant crocodile's teeth.
Starbuck- MOONLIGHT FEELS RIGHT MP3