Texas Blue Crab


Male Blue Crab

The blue crab industry in Texas is the third most valuable fishery behind oyster and shrimp and has been part of the fishing culture since at least the 1800s. In 2015, the dockside value of blue crabs was $5.1 million for a landing of 3.9 million pounds. Currently, less than 200 crabbers fish for this delicious crustacean in Texas. Blue crabs may be harvested year-round, except for a 10-day closure each year during the winter, during which derelict crab traps are removed from coastal waters.

Texas Parks and Wildlife is responsible for management of blue crab, and have employed many measures to ensure the sustainability of this valuable resource. It has been a limited entry fishery since 1998 and a crabber may only use 200 traps. To protect nursery areas for blue crabs, the marshes in Aransas National Wildlife Refuge are closed year-round. In addition, Texas enforces the use of escape rings and degradable panels to minimize bycatch and ghost fishing.

This site is currently down for maintenance. TXBC_083115

Texas Blue Crab Action Plan

Full Action Plan

Download the Texas Blue Crab Action Plan

Sustainability Benchmark Report

The full Sustainability Benchmark Report may be viewed upon request. Request full report.


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Authorized by the five Gulf state marine resource management agencies.
NOAA Award #NA10NMF4770481.