Since its creation in 2001, the North Carolina Blue Crab Research Program — funded by the N.C. General Assembly and administered by North Carolina Sea Grant — has paired crabbers with researchers and fishery managers to investigate and enhance North Carolina’s most profitable fishery. As of 2008, through an action of the N.C. General Assembly, the program began incorporating shellfish in its coverage and is changing its name to the N.C. Blue Crab and Shellfish Research Program (BCSRP).
||Blue Crabs in North Carolina
- From 1994-2004, North Carolina produced more blue crabs than any other state‚ between 33.7 and 68 million pounds per year.
- Although blue crabs are found in all of North Carolina's coastal waters, the largest populations are found in the Albemarle and Pamlico sounds.
Proposals should fall into one of five priority areas for blue crab research:
- Stock Enhancement
- Population Assessment
- Blue Crab Biology
- Shedding Technology
- Social and Economic
Proposals for shellfish research should fall into one of the following priority areas:
- Shellfish Restoration
- Shellfish Economics
- Harvest Technology & Shellfish Safety
- Health and Disease of Shellfish Populations
Those thinking about submitting a proposal must first attend a workshop, held in the fall of each year, where applicants are given an introduction to the program, assistance in the development of research ideas, and help identifying possible collaborators.
Learn more about eligibility, proposal development and submission, or download an application for this program.
||Blue Crab Research Makes an Impact
Tagging Mature Female Blue Crabs in Albemarle and Currituck Sounds (08-POP-09)
- Investigators: Kristina Bridges, Fred Bell, H.L. Bond, and Mike Mixon
- Read the abstract
Investigating Mysteries of Blue Crab Migration
By Robin Wienke, (Holiday 2008) Coastwatch Feature
Fred "Fritz" Bell and deckhands Mark Hastey and Bob Miles set out from Midway Marina in Coinjock at sunrise. Bell's boat, "Busted," is stocked with bait for a day of pulling crab pots.
Heading down the channel into North River, which forms thecheap aciphex border between Currituck and Camden counties, the three men start their rhythmic routine: hooking each red-and-green-striped buoy; pulling up the attached pot; shaking the blue crabs into the culling sink; separating them into baskets by size and sex; baiting the pot with fresh menhaden; and throwing the pot back into the water with the buoy trailing behind. (Read Full Story)
The Beautiful Blue Crab (Purchase)
Learn about Blue Crabs from:
Photos: NC Wildlife Resources Commission, Paul Rose, Robin Wienke