Monday, November 7, 2016

Blue Crab Travels: Studying Tags Offers Insights into Crab Habitats and Dispersal

From the Maryland Sea Grant Fellowship Experiences: A Student's Blog

Robert Semmler
September 15, 2016
If you caught a blue crab on the Chesapeake Bay during the past year or so, you might have seen one with a pink plastic tag attached to its shell. I’m part of a scientific research team who asked fishers and watermen to report those tags, and I am glad to report that those calls and e-mails are contributing to a better understanding of the Bay’s blue-crab population and how to sustain it.

The tags were part of a scientific study I was involved in to improve knowledge about where adult male crabs travel in the Bay. In summer 2015 I wrote on this blog about the efforts that my lab and I went through to organize and undertake this large-scale crab tagging experiment. Since then, I and the other members of the Fish and Invertebrate Ecology Lab (a.k.a. “The Crab Lab”), at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, have completed our work to release the tagged crabs tagging efforts across Maryland, with 8,741 adult blue crabs tagged in total. As expected, it meant a lot of early mornings with a few pinched fingers along the way.

Read the rest of the story at Maryland Sea Grant Fellowship Experiences: A Student's Blog

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