History of Alabama Blue Crab Fishery

Blue crab is an economically important species in the state of Alabama. While landings are small compared to some of the other Gulf States (about 2% of total Gulf hard crab landings in 2013, NOAA OST), Alabama processes approximately 50% of the blue crabs processed in the Gulf of Mexico,  making the state a large net importer of live crabs (Perry and VanderKooy 2015). Production drastically increased in the 1908s with an increased processing capacity as Southeast Asians with fishery experience immigrated to the area (Perry and VanderKooy 2015). The number of fishermen peaked in 1989 at 221, and the average number in the last ten years has been 196 (Perry and VanderKooy 2015). Landings of blue crab in Alabama were highest in 2000 at 4.8 million pounds with dockside value of $3.1 million. In 2013, landings were just above one million pounds worth a little over one million dollars.


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