pollution threatens blue crab industry Essay

Pollution Threatens Blue Crab Industry Essay

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The seafood market has always been a large part of the eastern coastlines economy. A very sufficient part of this economic state is due to the callinectes sapidus, blue crab. States on the eastern coast average millions of pounds of blue crab per year. Crustaceans are prized as food all over the world. Major fisheries exploit many types of shrimp lobster, and crabs all of which bring a high price. Much of the crab habitats are over fished today. We have made great strides to attempt to protect the blue crab and other marine life. There is still a lot that needs to be accomplished, to preserve the callinectes sapidus way of life. These marine species are predators and scavengers, which spend much of their time on the soft bottoms of estuaries. This unfortunately exposes these crustaceans to all the pollution on the sea floors. The average life span of a blue crab is two to three years. This paper determines the blue crabs economic value, pollution of its habitat, and how to preserve the blue crab. The Callinectes sapidus has a huge economical impact in the states of Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida. In our state of North Carolina the market has grown considerably. In 1973 our fisheries pulled ten million pounds of blue crab ;this grew to about thirty nine million pounds in the year of 1981. (Refer to graph) With this dramatic growth it is important to monitor the amount to be taken. We want to make sure that the amount pulled from the waters does not affect the existence of the blue crab. The edible blue crab inhabits, estuarine waters from Cape Cod to Mexico. These crabs have even been found as far away as Nova Scotia. Callinectes sapidus has an annual value on the east coast (1967 to 1971) of 8.55 million dollars ex-vessel price to crabbers. Other than shrimp, blue crab is the most valuable crustacean in North Carolina waters, with an average value of 1.4 million between 1967 and 1972. This has now become a multimillion-dollar industry or should we say industries. In actuality there are two blue crab fisheries, one for hard-shelled crabs and one for soft-shelled crabs. Soft-shelled crabs are not a separate species of crab, but are blue crabs that have shed, molted their hard outer shells in preparation for growth. (Crustaceans and Mollusk Aquaculture in the United States p204) During the 1980’s, over 73.9 million kg (162. 6 million lbs.) of hard shell crabs were landed with a value of more than $35 million ;soft-shelled crab landings totaled 861,825 kg (1896, 015lbs.). Valued at $2.4 million for the same period of time. (Crustaceans and Mollusk Aquaculture in the United States p204) The blue crab is characterized as a coastal in habitant ranging from the shoreline to approximately 90m of water, but primarily inhabits shallow water up to 35m in depth. Although callinectors sapidus is considered a scavenger, its regular diet consists of a variety of materials, including fishes, benethic invertebrates, and plant material. (Crustaceans and Mollusks Aquaculture in the United States p205) So this crustacean is more properly classified as an omnivore. This has now become a multimillion-dollar industry or should we say industries. Crabbing has provided jobs, and not just for those who set the crab nets. Jobs have been created for crab picker, to managerial jobs, regulatory committees, and restaurant owners. This market is still increasing in North Carolina. Pollution has affected the life of the Blue Crab. Callinectes Sapidus have been over fished affecting the stock of the following year. This does not just effect the population of the species, but it also interferes with the economy of states, which rely heavily on this added income.
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