Maryland’s famed blue crabs are luring illegal harvesters and thieves, according to a review by the News4 I-Team.
Records obtained from the Maryland Natural Resources Police show investigators issued more than 3,300 citations or formal warnings to people poaching or illegally harvesting crabs since 2014. Some of the violations risk the livelihoods of the state’s professional watermen and future populations of crabs in state waterways.
In one of those cases in August, a judge convicted Robert Allen Dorrier of Pasadena for a string thefts of crabs from the pots of professional watermen on the Chesapeake Bay. Witnesses at Dorrier’s trial in Anne Arundel County District Court said he used a small green boat to approach and empty the pots. One witness, who declined to share his name with News4, said Dorrier was seen doing so just before 6 p.m. after the professional watermen left the area for the evening.
“He was going pot to pot every 30 seconds, taking the pots and throwing them back without closing the lids,” the witness said.