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The scientific name of the blue crab, callinectes sapidus, means “beautiful savory swimmer” in Latin. To many people, it is the most precious creature of the Chesapeake Bay, and it is certainly Maryland’s most favorite crustacean. The blue crab unites the people of the Free State in a way no other animal does. It is no wonder that many experts consider the Chesapeake blue crab of Maryland the most delicious crab worldwide.
Maryland’s Blue Crab Obsession
During Colonial times the blue crab became a crucial source of food for European settlers as they had been for Native Americans. They were so consistently abundant, colonial fishermen of the Chesapeake Bay at first thought blue crabs were a nuisance for fouling their fish nets.
Marylanders, however, eventually discovered how delicious blue crab were after learning how to prepare them. This crustacean has been a regular subject of American cookbooks since the 1600s. Three centuries later in 1989, Maryland designated the blue crab as the state’s official crustacean.
Chesapeake Blue Crab Facts
The blue crab can be found living on the western Atlantic Ocean from Nova Scotia to Argentina. This crustacean is omnivorous, feeding on both animals and plants. Their typical diet consists of annelids, aquatic plants, fish, and thin-shelled bivalves.
During the past few decades, blue crab harvests have declined. As a result, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources has enforced stricter guidelines to help increase their numbers. The agency has raised the legal catch size of blue crabs to 5 ¼ inches from 5 inches, along with restricting the days and times allowed for catching them.
While growing from the larvae stage to a creature that can be recognized as a crab, most baby blue crabs will be eaten by predators. Only a fraction will manage to survive until turning a year old. The life expectancy of blue crabs living in the Chesapeake Bay ranges from two and a half to three years because most will be harvested before getting older. A fortunate few will live to their estimated maximum age of eight.
Lovers of fat, juicy crab and amazing seafood don’t have to drive to Baltimore, Ocean City, Hooper’s Island, or Annapolis anymore. Stay close to home and enjoy wonderful deliciousness all year around at our two new locations in Maryland!
Our Crofton branch can accommodate a large party group, so if you are interested in reserving tables, please call (443) 302-2680.