The Blue Crab Conservation Project is a donor-funded ecological effort to better regulate the blue crab population. Currently, we are focused along the Barnegat Bay Estuary of Ocean County, NJ, but we hope to expand the project along the entire east coast.
If you are a staff member of a municipal committee, public park, private marina, or other organization and would like to get involved in this project, please contact us to request more information.
what exactly is the project?
We are working with Save Barnegat Bay (SBB) to survey crabbing areas and produce a "crabbing map".
We want to provide signage and crab gauges (see below) as part of the this initiative (phase 2). We will be continuing this initiative in 2024!
Project Terrapin & Jenkinson's Aquarium teamed up to prevent the blue crab population from further decline by designing crab model sizing gauges (pictured below).
These models are being placed at crabbing hotspots to encourage the public to crab responsibly.
If you see one of our models, please use it to measure your catch to be sure it meets regulation.
This measuring device eliminates the need for rulers, it glows in the dark for high visibility for night-time crabbers, and it's biodegradable.
These gauges are also accompanied by signage explaining regulations in English & Spanish.
why focus on the blue crab? why is it important?
The blue crab is an essential species to the health of Barnegat Bay as well as other marine & estuarine ecosystems.
It is a crucial part of local, state, and the federal economy
It is a major part of our culture along the east coast!
crabbers who do not follow regulations pose a major threat to the blue crab population!
The catching and keeping of undersized crabs and sponge crabs reduce the number of crabs able to be born into the population. To keep a stable population, that number of crabs that leave the population (die) needs to be met by the number of crabs able to survive to mate.
This can lead to stricter regulations including a larger minimum size and increased fines.