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Letter: Let’s make informed decisions about crabbing

Editor, Gazette-Journal:

I feel last week’s letter concerning the Winter Crab Dredge Fishery ban ("Don’t allow crab dredging to resume," Dec. 6, Readers Write) was misinforming and degrading to watermen.

I am not an expert on crabs or dredging, but I did depend on crab dredging to earn a living for 10 seasons. One of the most obvious lessons I learned was that when you think you have the crab’s habitat, habits and life-cycle figured out, you soon discover how little you do know and how much more there is to learn. How better to learn as much as possible about crabs and crab dredging than to assemble a team of open-minded scientists from VIMS, fishery managers from VMRC and experienced watermen? The funding for group’s study comes from Commercial Registration Card fees; in other words, paid for by the watermen.

The $300 paid to individual watermen for the Marine Debris Recovery Program was money well spent. Participants spent the winter months recovering ...

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