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Posted at 11:15 AM ET, 04/21/2010

Va. court upholds ban on winter crabbing

By Washington Post editors

The Virginia Court of Appeals dealt a blow to an effort by state watermen to overturn a ban on winter crabbing, the Virginian-Pilot reports.

The court rejected arguments Tuesday that a state ban on harvesting crabs from the Chesapeake Bay during wintertime was imposed unlawfully.

The opinion written by Judge Elizabeth McClanahan upheld a Norfolk District Court decision, which similarly found the ban on dredging crabs in winter months was lawful, if the state agrees to consider the matter each year.

The ban enacted in 2008 by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission as part of a larger plan to restore dwindling crab populations in the bay, ended the harvesting season that had taken place each winter, from December through March, for the past 100 years. Scientists say that ending the winter dredge fishery has been one of the key factors in the rebound of crab stocks in the bay over the past two years.

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By Washington Post editors  | April 21, 2010; 11:15 AM ET
Tags:  Chesapeake Bay, Crab, Fishery, Virginia, Virginia Court of Appeals, Winter  
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