Welcome to Superoceras, a blog about science and natural history, slightly biased towards paleontology and zoology, but inclusive of all sciences. Started in October of 2009, my goal is to communicate scientific knowledge (and the occasional piece of nonsense) in an informative and entertaining manner. Feel free to contact me with questions, comments, concerns, or criticism at superoceras(at)gmail(dot)com, and follow me on Twitter @Superoceras for all that and more in 140 characters or less!

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Things I Learned This Semester #2

Callinectes sapidus, photographed at the Maryland Science Center.

Back in 2008, Maryland Governor Martin O'Mally and Virginia Governor Timothy Kaine, at the advice of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, made the difficult decision to pass regulations regarding the harvesting of Atlantic blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus) in the Chesapeake Bay.  By shortening the harvesting season, putting limits on the number of bushels allowed to be collected, and curbing the catching of female crabs, they hoped to allow the record low populations to rebound.  Well, good news everyone! Four years later, and the crab population has reached its highest levels in the last 19 years!  A dredge survey made public back in April shows a population rise of 66%, of which 587 million individuals are juveniles.  This is great news for the crabs, but also for the watermen that make a living off of them, and for those of us who love picking a good crab on a late summer evening.  Sustainable fisheries management for the win!

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