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Author Topic: crab disease/parasite  (Read 1558 times)
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Georgia Drydock
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« on: June 13, 2003, 12:42:37 PM »

Hey folks,
  The East Coast may count this past wet winter and spring among it's blessings.
  I know this is a round-about way of presenting this, but bear with me  Roll Eyes.
  The Georgia crab population is being decimated by the parasitic dinoflagellate, Hematodinium.
  From what I've read, this has come about due to several years of drought. As the inshore water became more saline, the crabs retreated into the more brackish waters upstream (except for when the sooks were going to the more saline waters to "wring out" their sponges). Sometime in their years of displacement upsteam they contracted this parsite from another species they met there.
  Now, with all of this rain, the inshore salinity levels have dropped to their more normal levels. I checked some near-shore bouy readings in the Savanna, Ga. area to find that the salinity levels have dropped up to 5 percentage points over these past few months.
  With any luck, the population will bounce back in a few years, and the crabs will march back into my stockpot.
  Small children know more about cumputers than I do, thus I don't yet know how to post a link, but you can find out more about this in your area here:
                 chbr.noaa.gov/Hematod.htm
  Happy crabbing!
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Georgia Drydock
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« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2003, 01:24:43 PM »

OK- that doesn't work  Huh
Try just throwing Hematodinium in a search engine
If anyone knows more on this, I'd like to hear it.
Thanks.
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Crabpop
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Location: Severn, Maryland USA


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« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2003, 10:11:40 PM »

GD, ran a search on the parasite and found a few more studies.  They all pretty much say the same thing.  We may well have this in the Chesapeake Bay this year.  Note that one of the studies concerned an infestation in 1992 in the Chesapeake.  I've read some reports that watermen doing clams and oysters this year are dredging up unusual numbers of crab shells and in places where they don't normally see them.  Have not seen any reports from our Dept. of Natural Resources confirming this.  Crabs in the Chesapeake are under enough strain; we certainly don't need a parasite to contribute to the deline in the number of crabs.  Good crabbin' to ya.

Crabpop
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Severn, Md USA

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