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Business and Economy

Fishery Managers Pass Rules for Booming Jonah Crab Fishery

PORTLAND, Maine - Interstate fishery managers are signing off on a management plan for a species of crab that is growing in value and volume of catch.

The plan concerns the Jonah crab, which is growing in popularity as an alternative to the more expensive Dungeness crab. The catch of Jonah crabs increased six-fold from 2000 to 2013.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission approved the management plan, which will be implemented by June 1, 2016. A spokeswoman for the commission says the plan limits participation in the Jonah crab fishery to fishermen who hold an American lobster permit or can prove previous participation in the crab fishery. It also establishes a minimum size for crabs.

Jonah crabs are mostly taken as bycatch in the more profitable lobster fishery.