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Shortage Of Crabs Causes Prices To Soar

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Crab prices are sky-high this summer and are likely to remain that way heading into Labor Day.

When you walk into Floyd's Crossroads Pub in Dayton, you'll be greeted with a sign that will alert you about the rising costs.

"It does hurt, and with COVID, we're way behind in our sales and our break-even points," said CindyLee Floyd, the pub's owner.

She had to raise crab cake prices by $4 but that wasn't enough to cover her costs.

"Over the weekend, we changed it to $6," she said. "We're not losing money. We're just barely breaking even."

What's to blame?

"It's just the old law of supply and demand," said Bill Sieling, executive director of the Chesapeake Bay Seafood Industries Association. "Right now, there's more people wanting to buy crab and crab meat than there is crabs and crab meat."

He said there's no shortage of workers and no storms have disrupted the crab population. There just aren't enough mature crabs yet.

He said diners can expect prices to go down in the fall, as they always do, when young crabs get big enough to harvest.

"They want to eat crab meat, they want to eat crab cakes, they're gonna pay the price," Sieling said. "And, they will. And, they are."

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