‘Maryland Crabs' Are From Virginia, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe Says

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is defending the state's famous crabs after Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said on a radio program that Maryland crabs should really be called Virginia crabs. 

Speaking last week on Richmond's 1140 WRVA, McAuliffe said Virginia should be recognized for being the birthplace of many of the crustaceans. 

"If anyone from Maryland is listening, I want to be very clear," McAuliffe said as he and host Jimmy Barrett laughed. "All the crabs are born here in Virginia and they end up, because of the current, being taken there. So, really, they should be Virginia crabs."

Hogan chimed in later to defend Maryland tradition. 

"While a number of Chesapeake Bay crabs may in fact be born in Virginia, they rightfully return to the State of Maryland where they survive and thrive, in our more welcoming, less salty waters," he said in a statement to WTOP.

"In fact, like most Virginians with any sense, the Virginia crabs eventually move north and become Marylanders," he added.

Politifact confirmed McAuliffe’s claim as mostly true, though it is possible for female crabs to give birth in Maryland, and a small number of crabs are born outside the Chesapeake Bay, in Maryland coastal waters.

Regardless of where the crabs are born, Maryland is known for crabs because it cooks them better, Baltimore chef John Shields told the Washington Post.

Contact Us