Blue crabs are an important living resource in the Bay. They are both predator and prey in the Bay's food web. They use aquatic grasses habitat to hide from predators and to mate and molt. Fishing for blue crabs in the Bay is a recreational and commercial past time.
How is it measured?
Blue crab data is collected in a winter dredge survey throughout Maryland and Virginia. The Bay-wide Blue Crab Winter Dredge Survey is an annual cooperative effort between the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) and the Fisheries Service of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Data for blue crabs has been collected through this program since 1990.
To determine the scores for blue crab data, the designated level of 215 million adult female crabs was used as the target. The total number of female spawning age crabs (in millions) was compared to this 215 million crab target and scored.