Richmond, VA - Governor Tim Kaine released the following statement today regarding the announcement by Governor Bob McDonnell and Governor Martin O’Malley that the Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab population has reached a twenty year high following implementation of regulations during Kaine’s term that protected the fishery. The rebound of the crab population coincides with the rebound of the Chesapeake Bay oyster population, due in large part to the rotational system of management instituted during Kaine’s term as governor.
“The rebounds of the Bay’s crab and oyster populations show that by following sound science and making tough decisions, we can establish a regulatory balance that protects our natural resources and allows our industries to flourish. I'm proud of the work I did as Governor, along with Governor O’Malley of Maryland and our federal partners, to make the forward-looking decisions needed to restore the health of our fisheries. We even found jobs for displaced watermen who contributed to Bay cleanup by recovering ghost pots. I also applaud Governor McDonnell for continuing these important efforts.
“By working with our regional partners and interested communities to invest in Bay cleanup, institute rotational oyster harvesting, and ban winter dredging of blue crabs, we have put these populations on a course toward sustainability. Bay oysters and blue crabs are part of our Virginia heritage and powerful economic resources for the watermen that work the Bay and the communities that depend on the water. Tradition and economics compel us to manage their populations in responsible, sustainable way.”