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Crabbers struggling with declining catches, insufficient prices

Gloucester crabbers are having a hard time catching crabs this summer.

Ricky Hall of Gloucester pulled into the dock on Aberdeen Creek Monday morning with just five bushels of jimmies and four bushels of sooks. He last fished his 350 pots on Saturday, so that was two days’ worth of crabs.

"It’s about as sorry as it can get," he said. "People say they’ve never seen the crab population as sorry as it is now."

E.C. Hogge has given up crabbing for now.

"I don’t see no sense putting pots over," he said. "You can’t catch enough to do no good."

Lewis Brown agreed. "You’ve gotta make something," he said.

Crabs were fairly abundant in the spring, said Hall, but even then it was rare for someone to catch the 51-bushel limit that was in effect until May 31.

All of the men said that prices have been rising on bait and on the wire, lead and rope needed to make crab pots, but the price of crabs has...

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