Navigation Links
Turning freshwater farm ponds into crab farms
Date:10/9/2008

Work by researchers at North Carolina State University is leading to a new kind of crab harvest blue crabs grown and harvested from freshwater ponds, instead of from the sea.

Crab lovers shouldn't worry, researchers say, because the pond-raised crabs look and taste just like their ocean-raised brethren.

North Carolina's native blue crab population has been at historic lows since 2000. Dr. Dave Eggleston, director of NC State's Center for Marine Sciences and Technology (CMAST) and professor of marine, earth and atmospheric sciences, looked at various methods for helping the population recover. He hit upon a solution which not only reduces pressure on existing crab populations, but also benefits farmers looking to diversify their crops: using irrigation ponds on farms to grow blue crabs.

"We started out by catching small crabs in the wild and stocking them into farm ponds loaded with bass and bluegill predators, and were still able to get 12 percent survival," Eggleston says.

"So we teamed with the University of Maryland's Center of Marine Biotechnology who had the expertise to growth hatchery-reared blue crabs, and stocked these blue crabs in freshwater experimental aquaculture ponds at NC State's Vernon James Research and Extension Center in Plymouth, N.C., where the crabs exhibited some of the highest growth rates on record."

Eggleston then noticed that a lot of farmers in Eastern N.C. were trying to diversify their crop offerings in response to the decline in tobacco demand.

"A lot of these farms have irrigation ponds, and we thought if crabs can live in fresh water, this would take some pressure off the coastal crab population and give farmers another crop, by letting their ponds work for them," he says.

Eggleston and his fellow researchers discovered that crabs can tolerate a salinity level of only .3 parts per thousand, which is about the same level found in coastal tap water. They did further work to determine the best set of circumstances for raising crab: population density, food rations, and habitat structure in ponds.

This past July, Eggleston and Ray Harris, NC State director of cooperative extension for Carteret County, had the opportunity for a large-scale test when they stocked a 10-acre lake with 40,000 hatchery-raised crabs, and a smaller pond with 4,000 crabs. The crabs will take approximately 105 days to reach maturity, and so far the endeavor looks successful.

With the rapid rate of growth for pond-raised crabs, Eggleston expects that in a given year, a farm could produce two to three harvests, as crabs don't do well in freshwater during the winter months.

"If you look at a 2 1/2 -acre pond, you could stock it with 50,000 hatchery-raised crabs and expect to harvest around 20 percent, or 10,000 fully grown crabs. At $3 per crab, that's $30,000 and multiply that times three. It definitely adds up."


'/>"/>

Contact: Tracey Peake
tracey_peake@ncsu.edu
919-515-6142
North Carolina State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Montana State University researcher finds renewed interest in turning algae into fuel
2. Cow stomach holds key to turning corn into biofuel
3. Turning on cell-cell communication wipes out staph biofilms
4. Turning fungus into fuel
5. Turning back the clock for Schwann cells
6. Pacific coast turning more acidic
7. Turning waste material into ethanol
8. NIH EUREKA award funds research at WPI aimed at turning adult skin cells into stem-like cells
9. Freshwater supplies threatened in central Pacific
10. Canadas pristine freshwater fisheries at risk
11. Canadas pristine freshwater fisheries at risk
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/19/2016)... , UAE, April 20, 2016 ... implemented as a compact web-based "all-in-one" system solution for ... biometric fingerprint reader or the door interface with integration ... modern access control systems. The minimal dimensions of the ... readers into the building installations offer considerable freedom of ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... April 13, 2016  IMPOWER physicians supporting Medicaid patients ... a new clinical standard in telehealth thanks to a ... the higi platform, IMPOWER patients can routinely track key ... body mass index, and, when they opt in, share ... visit to a local retail location at no cost. ...
(Date:3/23/2016)... , March 23, 2016 ... erhöhter Sicherheit Gesichts- und Stimmerkennung mit Passwörtern ... (NASDAQ: MESG ), ein führender ... das Unternehmen mit SpeechPro zusammenarbeitet, um erstmals ... Finanzdienstleistungsbranche, wird die Möglichkeit angeboten, im Rahmen ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... (Yeast and Mold) microbial test has received AOAC Research Institute approval 061601. , ... tests introduced last year,” stated Bob Salter, Vice President of Regulatory and Industrial ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... announced the launch of the Supplyframe Design Lab . Located in Pasadena, ... explore the future of how hardware projects are designed, built and brought to ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Calif. , June 23, 2016  Blueprint Bio, ... biological discoveries to the medical community, has closed its ... Matthew Nunez . "We have received ... with the capital we need to meet our current ... essentially provide us the runway to complete validation on ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Pleasant Prairie, WI (PRWEB) , ... June 23, ... ... sciences consultancy focused on quality, regulatory and technical consulting, provides a free ... webinar is presented on July 13, 2016 at 12pm CT at no charge. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: