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New Crabbing Rules for Crabbers

By: Jennifer Ryan
By: Jennifer Ryan

State wildlife officials are mulling over a plan to tighten crabbing laws this week. The idea is to reduce crabber numbers and perhaps crab traps too.

Ronnie Day is a mullet fisherman by trade, but hard times and net bans have led him on another path. Blue crabbing is now his means to an end, but now that industry is encountering rough waters as well.

Ronnie Day says, “When crabs show up, everybody jumps to the crabs. All the sudden waterways clogged with crab traps.”

Too many traps pose problems for boaters and wildlife, that's why wildlife officials have teamed up with crabbers to devise a management plan. The FWC Commission isn't sold on the idea yet.

Lee Schlesinger, FWC Commission Spokesman, says, “We have to look at all facets; in this regard we're working together.”

Together this week, both sides will decide whether to move forward or redraft a workable plan.

The FWC will discuss the plan to reduce crabber numbers this Wednesday in Key Largo. If a decision is made, a rule will be drafted in February and go before the public next April.


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