CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources on Wednesday will host a meeting to discuss a decline in the blue crab population.

SCDNR found what they are calling a concerning trend — surveys and reports show the beloved blue crab is in decline in Lowcountry waterways. Now, they plan on discussing how to protect the species moving forward.

In a report earlier this year through research, surveys, and reports from commercial fisheries, SCDNR highlighted a decrease in the crab population.

SCDNR officials said Wednesday night’s meeting is vital because blue crabs are one of the top three fisheries in the state worth millions of dollars. At the meeting, the department will be sharing the most recent findings, and plan to show ways to relieve the shortage of crabs.

Dept. of Natural Resources officials explained possible limitations that could be set, to protect crabs in the Lowcountry.

“One of the major goals is to limit effort in the blue crab fishery,” said Crustation Manager at SCDNR Office of Fisheries Management, Jeff Brunson. “Some potential limits in the recreational sector, some changes to the great which would include escape rings so undersized crabs can get out of the pots,” said Brunson.

The first of three meetings will be held Wednesday night beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Marine Resources Research Institute on James Island.