Beautiful Swimmers Revisited
On the 40th anniversary of "Beautiful Swimmers," William Warner's 1976 classic book about the Blue Crab, filmmaker Sandy Cannon-Brown teams up with Chesapeake Bay environmental writer Tom Horton to see how crabs are faring in the bay. Today's Chesapeake is not the same bay in which Warner conducted his inquiries of Callinectes sapidus, the iconic blue crab, in the 1960s and 1970s. Yet much remains.
Horton's journey takes him to all reaches of the Bay, from the York River in Virginia to the Patapsco he visits with watermen harvesting crabs with pots, nets, scrapes and trotlines; scientists conducting winter dredge surveys to predict next year's abundance and research to define the pressures affecting the crab from predators to climate change, and managers who struggle to balance the preservation of the watermen's culture with the preservation the blue crab.