Harvest and Fishing Effort in the Mississippi Blue Crab Fishery
- Lead Principal Investigator: Darcie Graham
- Funding Source: Mississippi Department of Marine Resources
To effectively manage a commercial fishery, estimates of catch must be continually collected to evaluate change. This research is a fishery-dependent survey to collect the biological data vital to understanding the Mississippi blue crab fishery. Fisheries biologists accompany three local trap fishermen on their vessels to collect data on catch. Samples are collected twice per month in west, central, and east Mississippi Sound. Data is used to calculate a catch per unit effort (CPUE), based on the total pounds landed, number of traps harvested, and trap soak time. The CPUE value is standardized to allow for comparisons between sampling area and time. This information provides valuable information on the status of blue crab stocks in Mississippi.
Other important biological and fisheries data are collected as a part of this project. This information is critical to understanding a fishery and provides instrumental knowledge to manage Mississippi’s resources.
- Fishing effort
- Seasonal catch rates
- Sex composition
- Carapace width-weight relationships
- Gonadal conditions
- Parasite identification and prevalence
- Maturity, spawning period, and fecundity
- Molt cycles
- Identification, enumeration, and condition of bycatch
- Evaluation of bycatch reduction devices