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Proceedings of the Senate, 1916
Volume 658, Page 249   View pdf image (33K)
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1916] OF THE SENATE. 249

Commissioner John S. Parsons, of the Virginia Fisheries,
was then heard on the subject, and his recommendations on
the protection of the "blue crab" concurred with the views of
Maryland. In addition he presented a letter from Dr. H. M.
Smith, United States Commissioner of Fisheries, in which Dr.
Smith recommends both a cull law on hard crabs and protec-
tion for the egg-bearing (sponge) crabs. The protection should
not be limited to one month, but should cover all seasons.

The Virginia Commissioner was firm in his stand, regardless
of the opposition offered by the Virginia packers. The Vir-
ginia Legislative committee agreed to stand by the recom-
mendations offered by the two State officials, which are as

First—That it shall be unlawful for any person or persons to
catch, take, or have in his or their possession at any time a
hard crab, other than' one in the "peeler, " "shedder, " or
"buster" stage, which shall measure less than five inches across
the shell from tip to tip of spike.

Second—That it shall be unlawful for any person or per-
sons to have in his or their possession at any time, or offer
for sale, 'any female egg-bearing (sponge) crab, known in
various localities as "spawn crab, " "sponge crab, " "blooming
female crab, " or "mother crab, " or such a female crab from
which the egg pouch or bunion has been removed.

While each State may add one or more sections to the above
to cover local conditions, the two protective measures as in-
dicated are designed to protect the crab industry in the entire
Chesapeake basin.

While the Maryland representative urged Virginia to re-
strict winter dredging for crabs, it was not possible to get
same through at this time. But the Virginia committee agreed
that if the United States Bureau of Fisheries would investi-
gate just how harmful winter dredging was to the industry,
and whether or not the females taken by that means were
gravid, that Virginia would abide by the decision of the Gov-
ernment. Dr. Coker, representing the Bureau of Fisheries,
said that their Bureau would make the investigation during
the next year.

Dr. Coker spoke on the importance of protecting the fish in
Chesapeake Bay. His theme was the protection and propa-
gation of shad. Dr. Coker illustrated his talk with Coast
Survey maps of the lower Bay, on which. was plotted the loca-
tion of the nets as exist at present. The charts revealed a con-
dition which was a surprise to all present, and showed how
it was almost impossible for the shad and herring to get up


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Proceedings of the Senate, 1916
Volume 658, Page 249   View pdf image (33K)   << PREVIOUS  NEXT >>

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