The Blue Crab Fishery

  • J. L. McHugh
Part of the Lecture Notes on Coastal and Estuarine Studies book series (COASTAL, volume 10)


The history of the blue crab fishery in many ways is almost the reverse of the history of the oyster fisheries. The blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) has been yielding fluctuating but larger catches ever since the fishery first began, and the yield in 1982 was the largest ever. In the Gulf of Mexico, although the highest landings were in 1973, this is generally true also, with landings since the second world war trending upward. To gain some idea of the magnitude of the fluctuations, landings in 1976, which were about the lowest year since 1950, were only about half those of 1982. The blue crab seldom strays north of Cape Cod, and as might be expected, landings in the middle Atlantic states are highly variable, ranging from about 6.5 million pounds in 1950 and 1975 to a low of less than 400 thousand pounds in 1968. Most landings along the Atlantic coast are in Chesapeake Bay and North Carolina. In the Gulf of Mexico most landings have been in Louisiana and the west coast of Florida (Figure 10).


Atlantic Coast Blue Crab Large Catch Oyster Fishery Middle Atlantic State 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. L. McHugh
    • 1
  1. 1.Marine Sciences Research CenterState University of New York at Stony BrookLong IslandUSA

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