MD Blue Crabs 2 Go   

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The blue crabs, often referred to as "blues," for sale in grocery stores and specialty shops are commonly Chesapeake or Atlantic blue crabs. These crustaceans offer a sweet, delicate meat encased in a hard shell. Eating these crabs is usually quite time consuming, requiring you to carefully pull meat from the body and claws cracked with a mallet.


A 3-oz. serving of blue crab meat cooked with moist heat contains 86.7 calories. Based on a 2,000 calorie diet, this accounts for 4.3 percent of the calories you may consume each day. Most of the calories per serving come from protein -- 79.2 percent. Approximately 15 percent of the calories derive from fat.

Blue crab serves as a good source of high-quality protein. Each 3-oz. portion provides 17.2 g. Your meal plan should have 46 to 56 g of protein in it each day -- this macronutrient not only promotes the development of muscle, it serves as a food from which your body can derive energy. One serving contains 0 g of carbohydrates.

Vitamins and Minerals Include blue crab in your eating plan and you meet your entire daily requirement of vitamin B12, making blue crab meat a good choice to keep your heart working well. Selenium features prominently as well, with 48.8 percent of the daily recommended intake per serving. Selenium provides antioxidant protections and promotes healthy thyroid function. You will also get 23.9 percent of the zinc you need each day and 27.4 percent of the copper your body requires.Health Considerations

A serving of blue crab is naturally high in sodium, containing 237.2 mg. Eat foods low in sodium to keep your intake as low as possible. The American Heart Association recommends that all Americans consume no more than 1,500 mg per day. Take note that blue crab may have a variety of chemical contaminants, including mercury and other poisonous compounds, that can raise your risk of miscarriage, neurological damage and cancer. Look for blue crabs harvested in safe areas.

Major blue crab fisheries have existed on the Atlantic coast of the United States for at least 100 years, and on the Gulf of Mexico coast for more than 50 years. From 1990 to 1994, reported landings averaged more than 96 million kg per year, with a reported dockside value of more than $200 million. Until about 1950, Chesapeake Bay accounted for over 75% of the total reported U.S. harvest of blue crabs, but less than 50% over the last two decades. The United States blue crab fishery is made up of hundreds to thousands of small-scale fishermen. The commercial fishery has a hard crab component and a soft crab (recently molted) fishery. There is also a substantial recreational (casual) fishery for blue crabs. Since the 1950s, crab pots have accounted for the largest proportion of reported landings. Other major gears include the trotline, crab scrape and crab dredge. U.S. blue crab fisheries have undergone periods of low abundance. Changes in fishing effort and power, environmental conditions, ecological interactions and market forces have been hypothesized as causative factors. Management measures in the Chesapeake Bay blue crab fisheries have included size and life stage, season, and gear limitations, as well as entry restrictions. An historical perspective should be taken in the interpretation of the recent decline in reported harvests. A 1997 stock assessment concluded that Chesapeake Bay blue crab stocks were fully exploited but in no current danger of recruitment overfishing.
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