Did you know the blue crab fishery is one of Florida's top 10 commercial fishieres, and that in 2010 fishermen landed over 8 million pounds of the tasty crustacean worth an estimated $10.3 million? Want to learn more?
Today my colleagues kicked off the first session of our 2012 Florida Seafood Brown Bag Webinar Series. The purpose of the series is to: 1) educate seafood lovers about the sustainability and safety associated with some of Florida’smost commercially valuable seafood products & 2) help consumers make informed decisions about purchasing and eating Florida seafood.
Our first session was on Florida's blue crab fishery. We provided an overview of basic blue crab biology and life history, the importance of the blue crab fishery to the state and how its managed, and basic purchasing and handling practices. If you would like to view the recording of the webinar click HERE.*
*CORRECTION (2/18/12): I wanted to make you aware that I made a mistake during the blue crab webinar. When discussing the trend in commercial landings I made a comment that the drop in landings and trips was a result of (other than fluctuations in environmental factors)the 1998 moratorium on endorsement holders and the implementation of the blue crab effort management plan in 2007. This is not true. Dr. Ryan Gandy a research scientist with FWC's Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, caught the mistake and helped clarify the issue.
"When catch is low trips follow suit as crabbers put less effort to crabbing when they are negative financial returns due to low crab abundance, during low rainfall years. There is a big coincidence of the low rainfall, low landings and reduced trips all occurring when management action occurred. When the moratorium on new licenses went into effect this did not reduce the number of fishers in the fishery; it merely held that number at the existing level by not issuing new endorsements. When the effort management and trap tag program went into effect (2007) it facilitated the removal of unused latent endorsements but these (as implied) were not fished. We now have a known number of fished endorsements and traps. Only latent effort has been reduced."
The program we use is called Blackboard Collaborate. To make sure you have the necessary software to view and listen to the webinar, please visit: http://support.blackboardcollaborate.com/ics/support/default.asp?deptID=8336&task=knowledge&questionID=1251
Let us know how we did!If you watch the recording, we'd love to get your feedback. Below is a link to a short survey that will provide us feedback about the session. https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NDQHTH2
Finally, if you would like to view the recordings of past webinars click HERE.
During the webinar, we provided several blue crab-related resources. I've included the URL's below as well.
Florida blue crab recreational fishing regulations:
Preparing Blue Crab: A seafood delicacy
Blue crab life Service history and processing video from the University of Georgia Marine Extension:
Blue crab educator resources from the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center: http://www.serc.si.edu/education/resources/bluecrab/
Youtube video on peeler crabs and shedding tanks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BnyWoMryp4
Blue crab buying information and recipes from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: