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Hines would appear to be right in that human involvement with the life cycles of most creatures and in this case, blue crabs, alters the sex balance of the blue crabs and thus the outcome of a given year's mating season.

Since we humans have made this creature a key income producing product we need to do the utmost to help preserve the efficiency of the blue crab reproductive efforts. The problem is how do we do that sensibly and in a way that does not ultimately mess up the natural process?

Too bad we cannot interview a few blue crab families. We can however, put our knowledge of their reproductive processes and do our best to protect and even enhance it. So lets listen to the scientists and the watermen and from both devise a new blue crab management system that keeps the population healthy and growing. By-the-way, we should apply this same progressive philosophy to the restoration of the oyster population.

Controlling the catching of males only in the tributaries is probably not the best solution to the problem. Crab pots are placed strategically at the mouth of every river up and down the bay. Periodic removal of all pots (temporary pot season closures) would be the better solution to give more males (and females too) a chance to enter the tributaries. Then, controlling the commercial trotlining and peeler potting of crabs in the tributaries would be most successful.

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