Thank You, Blue Crabs!
Photos courtesy Chesapeake Bay Reserve, Maryland.
Everyone knows that Maryland is for crabs, but did you know that the annual blue crab harvest from Chesapeake Bay accounts for more than 50 percent of total U.S. landings? Callinectes Sapidus—aka savory, beautiful swimmer—is the highest-valued commercial fishery in the Bay, bringing in millions of dollars each year. They also support a healthy recreational fishery in the region.
For the staff at Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, the presence of blue crabs is important indicator to health of the local economy, the Bay, and its tributaries. Blue crab use use underwater grass beds in the Reserve and elsewhere as nurseries, feeding grounds, and refuges from predators. The healthier these habitats ar, the more more crabs they can support.
Thank you, blue crab! Your abundance in Chesapeake Bay inspires us to work harder to meet the challenges ahead for 2019.
Have you had an encounter with a blue crab or another critter at one of our Reserves? We’d love to hear about it! Share your Reserve story.