Continued Sampling of Blue Crab Larvae, Juveniles and Adults to Evaluate Oil Spill Effects on Population Connectivity and Adaptation, and Predict the Dynamics of Recovery
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
DWH Project Funding
Known Leveraged Funding
Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI)
Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative GoMRI Grant Program
Human and/or Institutional Capacity
In the northern Gulf of Mexico (GOM) the blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) is a keystone species in salt marshes and supports a $50M/yr. fishery. Populations of blue crabs depend on recruitment of larvae that are spawned offshore where they are planktonic for a month or two before returning to coastal waters and metamorphosing into juvenile crabs. It is not known how far blue crab larvae are typically carried by currents, so the extent to which populations are self-sustaining versus dependent on other sources of larvae is also unknown.