More Crabs in the Bay Doesn’t Mean More on the Plate — Not Yet Anyway

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I guess it’s more complicated than it seems. Even as the watermen of the Chesapeake bay reported a banner crab harvest, and even as a recent tally put the number of crabs in the bay at somewhere near 764 million, the crustacean is still likely to be scarce and expensive for the Fourth of July.

The apparent surplus in the bay is easily explained away: of the 764 million crabs counted, 567 million are juveniles, unfit for harvesting. The supposed record harvest is more mysterious. (Where the hell are those crabs?) Either way, The Baltimore Sun reports that a bushel of males could cost as much as $279, and a dozen steamed could run you up to $100.

But crab-lovers, fear not! Those juvenile crabs will be ready to catch in the fall, and we should see a plentiful harvest then. Feel free to experiment with crab-stuffed turkey, crab-berry sauce, crab-nog, pumpkin-crab pie.

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