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Md. led nation in 2011 crab catch

Maryland’s crab harvest last year led the nation. That’s according to figures released Wednesday by the National Marine Fisheries Service.

Nearly 200 million pounds of blue crabs were landed nationwide last year, with Maryland accounting for more than 25 percent of the harvest. Louisiana was second with 22 percent and Virginia third at 19 percent. However, the crab catch in the Chesapeake region was down slightly at nearly 88 million pounds.

And while the overall harvest increased almost 8 percent, the value of the harvest dropped nearly 15 percent to about $180 million. The federal figures show watermen received an average of 91 cents a pound, compared to $1.15 a pound the year before.