Friday, May 1, 2015

Chesapeake Bay's blue crab population rebounding

    Chesapeake Bay's blue crab population rebounding discusses the challenges the Chesapeake Bay’s Blue Crab population faces. According to the article the number of spawning females dropped fifty three percent from the previous year. The estimated population of spawning female Blue Crabs is around seventy million. The author describes this as an alarming number because for a healthy Blue Crab population experts believe the number should be two hundred fifteen million. Dietrich believes that the population numbers are not down due to over harvesting the species. Dietrich says that experts attribute the decline to a combination of environmental factors. Karen Graham author of Where oh where are the Chesapeake Bay's blue crabs going? believes that the declining population is due to new migration patterns, environmental factors, and over-exploitation. Graham states that back in early 1980’s fisherman focused their efforts on Blue Crabs because the Oyster population took a major hit due to fresh water flooding. This caused the Blue Crab population to decline to three hundred million which is half of the natural population.
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading both of these articles and found that they gave great insight into the declining Blue Crab population. However, I do not agree with Tamara Dietrich’s belief that the decline is simply from environmental factors. Every summer Blue Crab demand increases and fisherman and restaurants stress the meet the demand due to the profits that can be made. I tend to agree more with Karen Grahams theory that the population decline is due to a combination of environmental factors and over harvesting of the species. I believe in order to have a healthy population we must mandate a cease of harvesting for an extended period of time.
--Brandon Replogle

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