Posts Tagged 'blue crabs'

Animal Update – August 2

Between our Baltimore and Washington, DC, venues, more than 17,500 animals representing 900 species call the National Aquarium home. There are constant changes, additions, and more going on behind the scenes that our guests may not notice during their visit. We want to share these fun updates with our community so we’re bringing them to you in our weekly Animal Update posts!

Check our blog every Friday to find out what’s going on… here’s what’s new this week!

Blue crab added to our Maryland: Mountains to the Sea exhibit! 

A feisty blue crab has been added to our Tidal Marsh gallery!

blue crab

Did you know? Blue crabs have three pairs of legs and primarily walk sideways.

Loss of habitat, combined with the blue crab’s popularity as a food for humans, has led to serious drops in populations. The population of Chesapeake Bay crabs has grown since 2001, but the future remains uncertain.

blue crab

Habitat restoration is essential for crab recovery. The National Aquarium invites you to help us restore marshes throughout the Chesapeake Bay.

Be sure to check back every Friday to find out what’s happening!

Thoughtful Thursday: No Reason to Be Crabby

Great news for crab-lovers: A new report on the Chesapeake Bay’s blue crab population shows a blue crab stock that has reached sustainable levels and is not overfished.

The report from the Chesapeake Bay Stock Assessment Committee shows a sustainable number of adult females and the largest number of juveniles counted in 20 years. The rebound we’ve seen in population numbers over the last decade is likely thanks to stricter harvesting regulations put in place, particularly on the harvest of female blue crabs.

Blue crab

A female blue crab is distinguishable by the red-orange tips of her claws

So enjoy your crab feasts this summer! And we’ve got a great one you should know about…

Come out and support the National Aquarium by attending B&O Brasserie and Hotel Monaco’s Third Annual Crab Bash on Tuesday, August 7. The claws will come out as award-winning chefs from around the region cook off against each other in search of the Best Crab Dish.

10 chefs, 10 different crab dishes, 10 different cocktails, live music and a great time to be had at the Crab Bash!

Join a panel of local celebrity judges in sampling and voting for your favorite crab dish from chefs. One chef will be awarded a “People’s Choice” award, which will be based solely on the votes of attendees, and one chef will be awarded a trophy for “Best in Show” by the celebrity panel—plus bragging rights for the year.

For an admission fee of $50 per person, guests are invited to watch the chefs battle it out, sample the chefs’ dishes, and enjoy samples of cocktails created specifically for each dish by a member of the Baltimore Bartenders’ Guild.  Admission also includes a raffle ticket with the chance to win a variety of prizes including tickets to National Aquarium, Kimpton animal-print robes, a gift certificate to B&O American Brasserie, and a one-night stay at a Kimpton Hotel.

The event benefits the National Aquarium, so get your inner crab out of its shell and be there! Get your tickets here.

Thoughtful Thursdays: Catch Crabs, Not Terrapins

Save the Terrapins

Crab feasts are a summertime tradition here in Maryland. There’s nothing like gathering around a picnic table with family and friends to spend time together, eating, drinking and picking crabs!

With Memorial Day Weekend marking the opening of Maryland’s crab feast season, the National Aquarium and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources want to remind recreational crab pot owners to obey the law and by doing so, to help save the Maryland State reptile, the diamondback terrapin.

The diamondback terrapin lives exclusively in the tidal salt marshes of the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic coastal marshes. This brackish-water habitat is also home to the blue crab.

Each year recreational crab pots unnecessarily claim the lives of terrapins. Terrapins are lured into crab pots by the same baits used to attract blue crabs. However, unlike blue crabs, terrapins must rise periodically to the surface for a breath of air. Terrapins trapped in a fully submerged crab pot will eventually die from drowning.

Waterfront property owners are legally allowed to crab with a maximum of two recreational crab pots. Maryland regulation requires that each entrance funnel of all recreational crab pots must be equipped with a with a turtle excluder called a Bycatch Reduction Device (BRD). A BRD is a gate that allows crabs to enter the pot, but keeps the larger-shelled terrapins out.

A BRD will prevent almost all terrapins from entering a crab pot.

Recreational crabbers can purchase BRDs where crab pots are sold, and some retailers sell pots that already have the device installed.

Bycatch Reduction Devices

Metal and plastic BRDs

If you are unable to locate BRDs, contact the National Aquarium Conservation Department at conserve@aqua.org.

Installing a Bycatch Reduction Device


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