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

The DNR is looking at ways to protect the species after it said the beloved blue crab is in decline in Lowcountry waterways. A report earlier this year that was done through research, surveys, and reports from commercial fisheries, highlighted a decrease in the crab population.

DNR 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.

DNR 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 Jeff Brunson, the crustation manager at the DNR’s Office of Fisheries Management. “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.”

The meeting is at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Marine Resources Research Institute on James Island. It is the first of three meetings planned in the state.