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These Crabs.....

These Crabs.....

The current fate of these two blue claw crabs is undecided. For the time being they are currently Pancake's "therapy crabs". Once they warmed up a bit they became quite active. One jumped off the table. They were said to have come from Florida:


Blue Crabs in the Gulf

Aside from their ecological importance, blue crabs are one of the most economically important fisheries of the Gulf. Louisiana alone lands approximately 26 percent of the total blue crabs for the nation, a value of more than $135 million at today’s market prices. A decline in blue crabs could have larger economic implications for recreational fishing and tourism on the Gulf Coast.

Using the money from BP’s oil spill fines to stop coastal wetlands loss and protect habitats for blue crabs will have a positive impact on the entire food web of the Gulf of Mexico—and the Gulf Coast economy as well.

Predator Meets Prey

Increased carbon pollution is expected to cause blue crabs to grow abnormally large shells, turning this species into larger, more aggressive predators that could significantly alter the fragile Chesapeake ecosystem. Their main prey, like oysters, are expected to suffer from weaker, slower-growing shells due to acidic water conditions caused by the ocean absorbing more carbon dioxide. The larger, hungrier blue crabs will have the ability to eat many more oysters, potentially throwing the whole food chain out of whack. This shift in the predator-prey balance would harm efforts to rebuild the stocks of both species.

Impacts to Economy

Although climate change is expected to lead to abnormally large blue crab shells, this does not mean the crab harvest will do well or that crab lovers will benefit. This is because studies have shown that the same conditions that lead to increased growth in crab shells also resulted in the production of less meat under those shells. As carbon-absorbing crabs put more energy into building larger shells, less energy goes into other critical life processes like tissue growth and reproduction.

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Photo taken on 1 January 2019 (© EX22218 - ON/OFF / Flickr)

Related tags :
 crabs, climatechange, chesapeakebay, blueclawcrabs, bp, ijprofaci, gulfofmexico, maryland, shells

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