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Maryland's crab supply is sinking under the Trump administration's visa lottery

Crab may soon scuttle off the menu.

Changes to visa procedures mean nearly half of crab houses on the East Coast don't have enough workers to pick meat, The Baltimore Sun reported Thursday.

Most of those workers are from Mexico, coming north on visas to work during peak crab production in warmer months. But this year, the Trump administration decided to award visas by lottery instead of the previous first-come, first-served basis. As a result, Maryland crab houses have lost 40 percent of their workforce.

"It looks like it's a matter of time before they're going to shut all of us down," one seafood company owner told the Sun.

Prices for picked crab meat could skyrocket, per the Sun, but that could lead to more steamed whole crabs in the market and actually lower their prices. Read more about what many crab house owners say are the harshest circumstances they've ever faced at The Baltimore Sun.