- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 8, 2015

NEW BEDFORD, Massachusetts (AP) - Fishery regulators are holding the final two public hearings in Massachusetts and Rhode Island about a plan to manage a species of crab that is becoming increasingly valuable.

Jonah crab catch increased six fold from 2000 to 2013. The crab is popular with cooks and diners as an alternative to Dungeness crab.

The public hearings are scheduled for Wednesday night in New Bedford, Massachusetts, and Thursday night in Narragansett, Rhode Island. Regulators with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission say an interstate management plan would regulate issues such as minimum size and creation of a permitting system for the fishery.

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Earlier hearings took place in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and Portland, Maine. Massachusetts and Rhode Island fishermen catch the most Jonah crabs. Maine and New Hampshire fishermen also catch significant amounts.

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