Testing a Device to Exclude Ovigerous Blue Crabs, Callinectes sapidus, from Commercial Pots

Rudershausen, Paul J. and Turano, Marc J. (2006) Testing a Device to Exclude Ovigerous Blue Crabs, Callinectes sapidus, from Commercial Pots. Marine Fisheries Review, 68(1-4), p. 36.

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Official URL: http://spo.nmfs.noaa.gov/mfr681-4/mfr681-44.pdf

Abstract

North Carolina fishery managers are considering methods to offer greater protection to the blue crab, Callinectes sapidus, spawning stock while maintaining a viable commercial fishery for female blue crabs in high salinity estuaries. We tested how effectively wire rectangles, or excluders, of two internal sizes, 45x80 mm and 45x90 mm, would prevent entry of ovigerous female (sponge) crabs into pots relative to control pots (without excluders) while maintaining sizes and catch rates of male and nonsponged female hard crabs. Field sampling among three pot designs (two excluder sizes and control pots) was conducted in Core Sound, N.C., during 2004–06. Median sizes (carapace widths) of mature female crabs were not different among the three pot types. However, median sizes of male crabs and sponge crabs were greater in control pots than pots with either size of excluder. Catch rates of mature female crabs from control pots were greater than from pots with 45x85 mm excluders. Catch rates of legal male and sponge crabs from control pots were greater than from pots with either size of excluder. Results indicate that using excluders involves a tradeoff between reducing catches and sizes of sponge crabs while also reducing sizes and catches of legally harvestable nonsponge crabs; moreover, the reduction in total catch and sizes would be greater for legal male crabs than for legal nonsponged female crabs. In high salinity waters close to North Carolina’s existing no-harvest blue crab sanctuaries, where females typically dominate catches of hard crabs, the benefit of using excluders to prevent entry of sponge crabs may outweigh a potentially modest decrease in landings of nonsponged females.

Item Type: Article
Title: Testing a Device to Exclude Ovigerous Blue Crabs, Callinectes sapidus, from Commercial Pots
Personal Creator/Author:
CreatorsEmail
Rudershausen, Paul J.
Turano, Marc J.
Refereed: Yes
Journal or Publication Title: Marine Fisheries Review
Volume: 68
Number: 1-4
Page Range: p. 36
Date: 2006
ISSN: 0090-1830
Issuing Agency: United States National Marine Fisheries Service
Subjects: Fisheries
Management
Item ID: 9710
Depositing User: Patti M. Marraro
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2012 16:51
Last Modified: 14 Aug 2012 16:51
URI: http://aquaticcommons.org/id/eprint/9710

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