Celebrate this summer with Maryland crabs

07/25/2017| Julie Oberg

Celebrate this summer with Maryland crabs

07/25/2017 | Julie Oberg

Guest feature: Julie Oberg is the Communications Director for the Maryland Department of Agriculture. Follow along with MDA @MdAgDept and Maryland's Best @MdsBest.

As summer gets underway, it is time for Marylanders to get reacquainted with one of the state's most beloved pastimes: enjoying fresh, locally sourced and produced crab meat.

It is hard to beat the time-honored tradition and communal experience of feasting on steamed crabs with friends and family, but there are many different ways to enjoy Maryland blue crabs: soups, crab imperial, or the classic Maryland crab cake.

"Here in Maryland, few things are more iconic than the Chesapeake blue crab," said Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. "The relationship between farmers and watermen goes back to the beginning of our state's history, and summer is the perfect time to enjoy all of the fresh, local products available statewide."

Maryland is currently enjoying an abundant crab population, thanks in part to improving water quality. Sediment entering the Chesapeake Bay is down, which has caused an increase in oxygen levels and submerged aquatic vegetation. On its annual report card grading Chesapeake Bay health, scientists at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science gave the bay's fisheries index an "A" at 90 percent.

"Crabs are plentiful this spring and prices are down," said Jack Brooks of the Chesapeake Bay Seafood Industry Association. "It's a great time to take advantage of this unique bargain and feast on Maryland crabs."

About 50 percent of the U.S. blue crab production is from the Chesapeake Bay, according to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

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