Grim News: Crab Season NOT Opening: Story by Burt Blumert
Walking on this bright, beautiful Sunday morning on Johnson Pier at Princeton was glorious. The heavy rains yesterday scrubbed everything and the world seemed perfect.
An ideal day to inaugurate the opening of the crab season by buying some succulent crabs from the boats that sell to the public.
Not so. No crabs today. It’s grim for the fishermen who earn their living from harvesting crabs, for the restaurants that feature crab on their menus at this time of year and the poor consumer who will be denied their winter treat.
To walk on Johnson Pier at Princeton is very sad. All the fishing boats are sitting idle and their empty traps are quietly nested.
Not many crab-men were even on their boats or on the pier. I did encounter one or two; they were glum-faced.
There was a meeting of fisherman last night and they voted to cancel the opening of crab season.
The commercial fishermen haven’t had a good time of it; the salmon season was disappointing–and now with this devastating oil spill, things are going from bad to worse.
At the meeting, reported by a couple of locals, the fishermen discussed the fact that the crabs could be contaminated from the spill–and people could get sick consuming them. This factor eliminated any debate about whether to open the crab season or not.
I didn’t have time to get all of the facts. These poor fellows weren’t in a mood for chatty conversation– worse yet, they are concerned that this disastrous oil spill could threaten future crab seasons.
Let’s hope that there is better news ahead.