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VMRC reduces crab pot catch limits

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission voted Tuesday to reduce crab pot bushel and vessel limits by 10 percent for a 12-month period beginning July 5, also closing the crab dredge fishery season for the seventh year in a row.

These conservation measures were taken as a result of the 2014 Annual Winter Dredge Survey which indicated female blue crabs dropped below the safe level of 70 million and are in a depleted state.

“These decisions, while never easy, are absolutely necessary,” said VMRC Commissioner John M.R. Bull, following Tuesday’s meeting in Newport News.

“The measures we adopted today complement similar regulations adopted by our partners in this effort, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the Potomac River Fisheries Commission,” he added. “Together, we will continue to monitor the blue crab population with our partners and continue to adjust management strategies when necessary.” ...

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