Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Feds go crabbing

A Crisfield seafood wholesaler, MeTompkin Bay Oyster Company, pled guilty last month to federal charges of purchasing and selling undersized crabs. The AP reports the company was hit with a $50,000 fine, and was ordered to hand over 3,200 dozen undersized crabs.

Being a regular consumer of Maryland’s most well-known crustacean, the revelation of undersized crabs on the market is no shock. Thinking back many summers, the size and meatiness of the Chesapeake Bay bottom-dwellers sold now doesn’t even compare to a bushel I would madly dig through as a 12-year-old hopped up on Old Bay. If anyone thinks I’m delusional from all the ingested phosphates and nitrates in the bay, feel free to set me straight.

The only good news out of this nefarious seafood scandal? The undersized crabs seized in the sting will be donated to the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore for two North American river otters’ dining pleasure. Dinner time is today, in case anyone wants to watch and celebrate the one-time evidence disappearing.

—FRANCIS SMITH, Special Publications Assistant Editor

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