Off Season watercolor on Yupo 8x8" by Meera Rao
During crabbing season, I see watermen in small boats cruising the waterways in our little town during the early part of the day pulling up crab pots and placing empty ones in their place. When a pickup truck stacked with crab pots passes me while driving, I often hope for traffic light to turn red so that I may stop right behind that truck to snap a photo :). I have known about their hard lives, seen photographs and read wonderful articles in our local paper. This time when I passed this stack of crab pots in a yard, I had to paint it. My other painting of a crab pot can be found here
I had not thought much about crabbing as such until I came across this stack. Turns out, this year the season was from March 17 to November 30. There is a "Chapter: Pertaining to Crabbing " in the website for Virginia Marine Resources Commission. It covers in detail license requirements and "daily individual, vessel and harvest and possession limits, time limits, season limits, peeler pot limits and peeler and softshell crab minimum size limits for commercial and recreational crabbing in Virginia." My research showed that Chesapeake crabbers already supply up to a third of the blue crabs eaten in the U.S, but issues of overcrabing and climate change looms large in their future. I read that last year the season was shortened by 16 days and bushel limits for the entire month of November was also reduced. This is a huge reminder how interconnected our whole world is !!