Skip to comments.Chesapeake Bay crabs status uncertain
Posted on 10/12/2004 7:30:19 AM PDT by cogitator
Reports mixed on blue crabs
Biologist 'seriously concerned' with the bay's spawning stock; other studies are more hopeful
Chesapeake Bay blue crabs may be in worse trouble than previously imagined, according to Virginia Institute of Marine Science research into the survival rate of female crabs. But the data collected on crabs in the estuary do not all agree.
The institute's study of mature female crabs between November 2001 and October 2002 estimated that only two out of 100 survived the study year.
"This is one of the first times I'm seriously, seriously concerned with the spawning stock," said Rom Lipcius, a VIMS biologist and a principal investigator in the survey.
Other surveys in the bay show a more hopeful sign: The overall abundance of blue crabs improved in 2003, according to a Virginia, Maryland and federal panel of scientists that includes representatives from VIMS.
Derek Orner of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's bay office in Annapolis, Md., said the crab study fell to budget constraints and new research priorities in his agency's competitive grants program.
NOAA gave VIMS $396,850 over three years to underwrite the mortality study. The agency is now directing money to other issues. New species have emerged as funding priorities. Chief among them is the menhaden, a valuable industrial fish that is converted to fish meal and oil, and the ariakensis oyster.
Menhaden have gained a new profile amid concerns that they may no longer be abundant enough to serve as the main forage for striped bass and other predator fish in the bay. Interest in the ariakensis oyster, which is native to Asia, has grown as Virginia and Maryland consider it as a possible replacement for the bay's disease-ravaged native oyster.
(go to linked article to read the rest)
(Excerpt) Read more at timesdispatch.com ...
Crab status definite.
Ping ... you may have a crab shortage, or may not.
heh, heh, heh...
Narg! CRAB ENVY! I haven't had fresh crab since about 1990!
May or may not is right!!! They just don't know.
Years ago I learned the best way to determine the viability of a particular species was to speak directly with those that know them best.........the commercial fishing industry. Not the big fleet companies, but the local watermen. This is their bread and butter, the last thing on earth they want to see are depleted stocks.
My big fear with thee gloom and doom reports is they are used by opponents of the fishing industry to further tie the hands of the watermen. I saw it happen in the 80s to Maryland watermen and through the 80s and 90s to the Delaware watermen.
Just a couple of weeks ago that picture could have been of me!!! Some friends had a couple of crab pots in Chincoteague Bay and we had a veritable feast that night!!!!
I make a very simple, but extremely tasty, tomato based crab soup if anyone is interested in the recipe.
You poor deprived child.........you need to rectify that situation post-haste.
When I read the title to this thread all I could think of was: "Damn, more undecideds..."
"No shortage here..."
hehe... j/k I go down to Delaware once a year to get a bushel and a few pounds of shrimp steamed in old bay. get a bunch of friends, a case of cold beer, put out the newspapers(Sunday Times works great for this) get out the mallets and have a go at it.
Maybe Paris Hilton knows?
Well there are soft shell crabs.
OH they look so good a little old bay and beer and a touch of vinager, its making me want to go back to maryland, WAIT NEVER MIND.
I know their status when they are on the table in front of me ;). MmmMmm Good!
Thank you for supporting the waterman of Delaware. A lot of the guys catching those crabs are long time friends of mine!!!!
Absolutely THE best way to steam 'em up!!!!
We always have crab "races" outside the door near the grill.............the losers go into the pot first!!!!
I'm convinced that the Rockfish population has the most influence on the crab population in the Bay.
Extending Virginia's ban on the catch of mature sponge-females to include all sponge-females is one of the simplest ways to help the population. Maryland should also ban the import of all sponge-crabs.
I must admit to not being as well versed in Virginia's shell and fin-fish laws and regs as I am with Delaware's and to a lesser extent Maryland's.
Could you give me a quick explanation about "sponge-females" I am not at all familiar with the phrase?
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