PUBLIC NOTICE   |   Chesapeake Bay Commercial Mature Female Hard Crab Catch Limit and Crew Requirements

PUBLIC NOTICE
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Fishing and Boating Services
Chesapeake Bay Commercial Mature Female Hard Crab Catch Limit and Crew Requirements

Maryland's Portion of the Chesapeake Bay and It's Tidal Tributaries

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Service (MDNR) announces a revision of the commercial mature female hard crab bushel limits and closure periods for 2016 for the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries pursuant to COMAR 08.02.03.14. Notwithstanding COMAR 08.02.03.11A(5), there are no closure periods for female harvest in 2016. The daily commercial mature female hard crab bushel limits beginning July 1, 2016 and extending the harvest of mature females from November 10, 2016 to November 30, 2016 are as follows:

Bushel Limits by License Type
SeasonLCCTFL or CB3TFL with CB6 or
CB3 with CB6
TFL with CB9 or
CB3 with CB9
July 1 - Aug 312 10 14 17
Sept 1 - Oct 315 19 29 35
Nov 1 Nov 30 2 9 13 20
The above acronyms stand for: LCC Limited Crab Harvester License 50 pots; CB3 Crab Harvester License 300 pots; CB6 600 pot authorization; CB9 900 pot authorization; and TFL Unlimited Tidal Fish License

Mature female hard crab bushel limits and closure periods are being revised based on harvest levels, which have been below the established target for 8 consecutive years, and the results of the 2015-2016 winter crab dredge survey conducted by the MDNR and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.

As described in Annotated Code of Maryland, Natural Resources Article, 4-814, a 600 pot authorization (CB6) requires the license holder to have one crew member in addition to him/herself and a 900 pot authorization (CB9) requires the license holder to have two crew members in addition to him/herself on board. These additional crew members must be on board the vessel in order for the licensee to harvest at the bushel limit assigned to a CB6 or CB9. If crew members are not on board, then the licensee is restricted to the TFL or CB3 bushel limits.

Contact BrendaK.Davis for more information.

Mark J. Belton
Secretary
Maryland Department of Natural Resources