Virginia Institute of Marine Science
The blue crab constitutes a major fishery of the Chesapeake Bay amount- ing in 1939 to about fifty-seven million pounds. During the past two decades there have been pronounced fluctuations in the catches attributed to weather conditions and to industrial practices. Thus, from 1939 to 1941 the crab catch declined over 50% in Maryland and about 40% in Virginia (U. S. Fishery Statistics, '41). Since then there has been a marked increase in production.
For successful management of the fishery, further biological information is required to provide a sound basis for conservation policy. The particular biological problem with which we are concerned here is contained in the question, "Where or under what environmental conditions can egg-bearing or "sponge" crabs produce larvae that may be expected to undergo normal development?" An answer to this question provides a basis for selection of crab sanctuaries that may help to protect the brood stock (figure 1).
Copyright by the Ecological Society of America. Contribution (Virginia Fisheries Laboratory) ; no. 16.
Sandoz, Mildred and Rogers, Rosalie M., The effect of environmental factors on hatching, moulting, and survival of zoeal larvae of the blue crab, Callinectes sapidus Rathbun (1944). Ecology, 25(2), 216-228.