"Sorry, we're CLOSED due to Illness"
Gus’ Crabby Adventures, LLC pledges to donate future profits to Jan K. Platt Environment Lands Acquisition Protection Program (ELAPP).
Blue Crab Sanctuary Proposal
"All waters east of 8 km, or 12 km line (I-75 Bridge) in Little Manatee River"
At the 2008 FWC, BCAB meeting I stated concern for harvest of female blue crabs.
This 2009 October BCAB meeting I’ll again express concern for harvesting female blue crabs.
Regulations state 5” minimum size limit, prohibits keeping of eggbearing blue crabs, and
requires 3 unobstructed escape rings. It’s necessary to include 3 different regulations all
dealing with taking of female and male small crabs to stress a point. Frankly, personal
experience indicates regulations need to go one more step and possibly more to optimize
protection of female blue crabs at different sages of development. Therefore, rule should also
state immature female blue crabs must be returned to the water free, alive, unharmed, and
illegal for sale. Immature female blue crabs are easily recognized having an inverted “V” or
triangle shaped apron. Good example happen today when a customer bought a bushel of blue
crabs from me and stated someone was selling bushels of blue crabs at a road side stand in
Bradenton and bushel baskets contained only small blue crabs. This resulted from crabber
selling his 5” blue crabs to a market and selling his smaller crabs by the bushel to whom ever.
Since FWC Marine Officers are understaffed it only makes sense to add additional rules to
stress the point; female blue need protection at all stages of life. Actually, rule would not
negatively impact crabbers except crabbers who sell small illegal blue crabs, because most
immature female blue crabs are less than 5” in size. Because blue crab catches have been low
due to drought, I'm guessing a lot of undersize blue crabs are sold just to meet expenses...and
besides no one monitors!
Do we care about female blue reproduction, or wait until we experience a condition like
A immature (adolescent) female blue crab, known as a "Sally" or "She-Crab" to watermen, is
easily identified as having an inverted "V" or triangular shaped apron and red-tipped claws. Her
apron is tightly sealed to her body and does not open since she cannot mate or carry eggs.
Thank you for copy of 2007 Fisheries-Independent Monitoring Program and I received copy of
http://www.gsmfc.org/publications/GSMFC Number 096.pdf, published 2001.
Maybe, I better understand juvenile blue crab numbers for Tampa Bay, but I still
have concerns with declining resource. The Ernie Estevez 2003 report indicated LMR Trap #
662 with highest trap density 41.4 #/km for regional rivers.
Between area drought and Tampa Bay areas dependency on surface water and ground water,
brackish water feeding Tampa Bay has almost disappeared. Resulting all Tampa Bay blue crabs
juveniles and adults moving up rivers in search of food. But, instead of natural food, all they find
are crab traps loaded with shad bait. This results in the over harvesting of blue crab resource.
If FWC - BCAB management has no desire to manage numbers of crabbers or crab traps for an
particular area, then the only solution is create no fishing zones for blue crabs.
http://www.gsmfc.org/publications/GSMFC Number 096.pdf contains 126.96.36.199 Alabama
Dept.of Conservation and Natural Resource Regulations for blue crabs 188.8.131.52.4, Close Areas
and Season, creates a closed area for harvesting blue crabs north of I-10, and Mississippi
184.108.40.206 Department of Marine Resources for blue crabs 220.127.116.11.4, Closed Areas and Seasons,
creates closed areas North of I-10 in three counties, Jackson, Harrison, and Hancock, for
commercially harvesting blue crabs.
Personally, I find the State Of Florida in default for protection of its blue crab resource. Can
FWC show cause, or proof where FWC is protecting the blue crab resource from over-harvest
in the Little Manatee River? If not, then I'm proposing a no commercial blue crab harvest area
for Little Manatee River with (2) Options. One at 8 km point, and one at 12 km point I-75
Thank you for your time and consideration.