The blue crab Callinectes sapidus has played a central role in the ecology, economy, and culture of Chesapeake Bay since the colonial era. Researchers at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) study all aspects of this species—including its ecology, physiology, and population dynamics—with an eye to conservation and a sustainable fishery.
- Scientific survey shows highest-ever level of spawning-age female crabs (April 2017) VIMS' 2017 winter dredge survey shows a 31% increase in adult female crabs and forecasts another year of improved harvests.
- Report: derelict crab pots have impacts throughout Bay (October 2016) Study shows that effort to remove derelict crab pots from Chesapeake Bay generated more than $33 million in harvest value for Maryland and Virginia crabbers.
- Scientific survey shows solid blue crab stock improvement (April 2016) VIMS' 2016 winter dredge survey shows another year of growth in the blue crab stock and forecasts an improved harvest in 2016.
- Removal of derelict fishing gear has major economic impact (January 2016) VIMS study shows that effort to remove derelict crab pots from Chesapeake Bay generated more than $20 million in harvest value for area watermen.
- Scientific survey shows modest improvement in blue crab stock (April 2015) Winter dredge survey shows that overall blue crab abundance is up, juvenile crabs are more numerous, and spawning-age females increase but remain at low levels.
- Blue crabs more tolerant of low oxygen than previously thought (September 2015) Findings of VIMS investigation contradict earlier studies, thus helping to explain what had been somewhat of an ecological mystery.
Advisory Service Reports
Five Most Recent Journal Articles
- Huchin-Mian, J.P., H.J. Small, and J.D. Shields, 2017. Patterns in the natural transmission of the parasitic dinoflagellate Hematodinium perezi in American blue crabs, Callinectes sapidus from a highly endemic area. Marine Biology, 164(7). ARTN 153
- Glaspie, C.N., K. Longmire, and R.D. Seitz, 2017. Acidification alters predator-prey interactions of blue crab Callinectes sapidus and soft-shell clam Mya arenaria. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 489: p. 58-65. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jembe.2016.11.010
- Corso, A.D., et al., 2017. Experiments with By-Catch Reduction Devices to Exclude Diamondback Terrapins and Retain Blue Crabs. Estuaries and Coasts, 40(5): p. 1516-1522. http://doi.org/10.1007/s12237-017-0223-4
- Gaylor, M.O., E. Harvey, and R.C. Hale, 2015. Systematic Investigation of Factors Controlling Supercritical Fluid Extraction (SFE) of Spiked and Aged PCBs from Edible Tissues of the Blue Crab (Callinectes sapidus). Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 94(1): p. 23-28. http://doi.org/10.1007/s00128-014-1380-9
- Ralph, G.M. and R.N. Lipcius, 2014. Critical Habitats and Stock Assessment: Age-Specific Bias in the Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab Population Survey. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, 143(4): p. 889-898. http://doi.org10.1080/00028487.2014.901247