One-third of Virginia's watermen have offered to sell their licenses back to the state.
It's part of a buyback program intended to ease pressure on the Chesapeake Bay crab. But only a fraction of the 665 watermen who bid will likely be leaving the water because they far exceed the almost $7 million dollars in federal disaster aid bankrolling the buyback.
Over the next few weeks, officials will sort the bids with an eye on retiring the most productive watermen. Virginia stopped issuing crabbing licenses a decade ago because of a steady decline in the shellfish.
Kavitha Cardoza reports...