Crabbing Restrictions Debated - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports


Crabbing Restrictions Debated

If you like crabs, you might have some trouble finding them soon, or paying for them. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources wants to limit crabbing to four days a week, since over the past few years the amount of blue crabs has declined. Crabbers say it's too drastic. 

Many crabbers go out each and every day. But things haven't been great this year. As crabber Steve Tool put it, "This year, the supply was simply not there."

The DNR says the blue crab population has declined steadily and drastically over the past few years, and many crabbers will agree. But the solution of limiting crabbing to only four days a week isn't satisfying many. "You can't ask these guys that's already been hit hard as you can see to work a full day Tuesday and make no money," said Tool. "There's bait to buy, fuel, and they can't bring anything home to show for it."

At a town hall meeting held yesterday at the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum, crabbers explained their concerns to the DNR. "What you're proposing here is out of the question," said crabber John Murphy. "It cannot be done, it is not economically or financially feasible."

But the DNR says the three-day rest will give the crabs time to spawn. Crabber Tool had another idea. "I think personally we need to close down in the winter," he said.

While that idea got a roomful of disagreement, another crabber said DNR needs to find a solution before people start taking even more drastic measures to protect what they consider their turf. "During the summer, I had a guy pull a gun on me, cause he didn't want me fishing in his area," on attendee said.

There will be one more town hall meeting in Brunswick today, and the DNR wants the commissioner to make a decision on the issue no later than November 1. We'll let you know what the final say is.

Reported by: Kim Angelastro,

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