Va. Extends Blue Crab Harvest by Two Weeks

Virginia watermen are getting an extra two weeks to harvest blue crabs from the Chesapeake Bay.

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission voted unanimously Monday to extend the harvest through Dec. 15.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that the extension is part of a compromise with watermen and conservationists. The deal also requires a new collection system in 2013 that's expected to limit catches of blue crabs.

Maryland officials had urged Virginia to not extend the 2012 season. They're concerned that too many pregnant female crabs will be harvested.

In response to these concerns, the commission continued a ban on winter dredging. The technique involves dragging a heavy steel comb along the bottom of the bay to pick up hibernating crabs. Most are pregnant females.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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