Date Thesis Awarded
Bachelors of Science (BS)
Randolph M. Chambers
Eric M. Engstrom
The effectiveness of by-catch reduction devices (BRDs) on commercial pots designed to capture blue crabs Callinectus sapidus was tested in the York River on Felgates Creek (37.2667 N, -76.5850 W) over the period 4 June through 31 July 2009. For each of 10 pairs of pots, one had BRDs affixed to all four entrance gapes and the other had none. Pots were baited approximately once each week, but were sampled for blue crabs and by-catch six of seven days each week for the duration of the study. More than one-fourth of 1643 total crabs were caught on the first day after baiting, and for these seven days, no statistical difference was detected between either the number or size of legal size crabs caught in BRD versus non-BRD pots. Of 51 Malaclemys terrapin and 44 fish caught as by-catch throughout the study, all but three fish were captured in non-BRD pots. BRDs exclude by-catch, and appear to reduce incidental mortality of crabs in pots that are not tended regularly. The honors thesis submitted by Andrew Scott Morris entitled "A Test of By-catch Reduction Devices on Commercial Crab Pots in a Tidal Marsh Creek in Virginia" has been submitted for publication to the peer-reviewed journal "Estuaries and Coasts: Journal of the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation." It has been peer-reviewed, but as of the writing of this note on 4/28/2010, it is awaiting final decision for publication.
Morris, Andrew Scott, "A Test of By-catch Reduction Devices on Commercial Crab Pots in a Tidal Marsh Creek in Virginia" (2010). Undergraduate Honors Theses. Paper 649.
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