delware environmental institute

News Journal: Blue crab population down for 2nd year

The life cycle of the blue crab is that females migrate to the saltier water in lower Delaware Bay to spawn, outbound tides form a current that transports them away from the coast and then, several weeks later strong, northeast winds push them back toward shore and into the estuaries.

Scientists who figured out this blue crab transport model can't really predict blue crab stock size based on this complex connection between tides, winds and currents in the estuary and ocean because of the many variables in the weather, tides and timing of the crab hatch, along with crab mortality, said Charles Epifanio, Harrington Professor Marine Science at the University of Delaware College of Earth, Ocean and the Environment.

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