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The Use of Ultrasonic Telemetry and Simulation Modeling to Determining Blue Crab Population Dynamics in a Georgia Salt Marsh Estuary

PI: Amanda Wrona and the late Richard Wiegert (Dept of Marine Sciences, Univ of Georgia)

Support: Sea Grant College Program (R/FS-7-PD)

Timeframe: 2001 - 2003

Project Overview
     Previous and current efforts to manage the blue crab populations in Georgia are based on historical information and limited biological research. This research has focused mostly on describing and quantifying the blue crab substock, which includes collecting data on distribution, seasonal abundance and size composition.
     There are many examples of traditional fisheries models that have been proven to be insufficient tools for predicting blue crab population dynamics all along the Atlantic and Gulf coast of North America.  Future management models must include the expansion of the knowledge base about the species by the inclusion of biological as well as population data. Currently, scientists are far from developing an ecological model of blue crabs because a comprehensive understanding of blue crab biology in Georgia does not exist. Life history characteristics are poorly documented or in some cases not known.

The objectives of this project are to:
Determine molting habitat of blue crabs, Callinectes sapids, with the use of ultrasonic telemetry.

1) Eleven crabs were fitted with the molting transmitters, 8 of which were successfully tracked to their molting habitat during July and August, 2002.
2) GIS is currently being used to analyze the data and provide visual displays of the data.

A. B. Wrona, 2004. Understanding population dynamics of the blue crab, Callinectes sapidus, in a Georgia estuary. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Georgia.

The use of ultrasonic telemetry and a GIS to determine essential habitat of Blue crabs, Callinectes sapidus in a Georgia salt marsh estuary. Wrona, A.B., R.G. Wiegert, J. Godwin, and K. Payne. In Preparation.

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This page was updated October 13, 2006