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Crab sales get a boost from ‘True Blue’

OCEAN CITY — Sales of locally sourced crab meat are up 15 percent this year, and one state official says it’s due to better marketing for the Maryland blue crab.

“Every restaurant in the region has Maryland crab cakes on the menu, but the dirty little secret of the industry is that not many of them use Maryland crab meat,” said Steve Vilnit, marketing director for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Division.

That’s why the Maryland Department of Natural Resources started a program this year titled True Blue to promote locally sourced crab meat. Restaurants can voluntarily turn in their food order invoices for certification, and DNR will post each to

There are now more than 100 participating True Blue restaurants, retailers and caterers in Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia. They are using 10,000 pounds of crab meat every week.

Local participating restaurants include Fager’s Island, The Shark on the Harbor and Rehoboth Seafood Market.