Crab Fisherman, Rock Point Maryland, and Crab Sign, by Arthur Rothstein, 1926. Collections of the Library of Congress.
With the crab population so precipitously low in the Chesapeake this year, some groups are calling for a moratorium on the crabbing harvest. Crabs are still an icon of the Chesapeake, and play a central role in our summer picnics and seafood industry, but the low harvests are driving prices up and raising concerns about the long-term future of the crabbing industry.
That said, it’s always nice to remember the good old days, when crabs were fat, plentiful, and cheap. These images from the 1930’s reflect a Bay that was still a vital resource- providing hundred of thousands of bushels of the prized delicacies, to be steamed in vinegar scented water and piled high with clouds of Old Bay.
Adak Harbor filled with only a part of the US fleet as they waited to move against Kiska/August 1943