North Carolina’s Blue Crab Fishery As North Carolina’s number one fishery, blue crabs, Callinectes sapidus, are part of an important industry for numerous coastal communities. The fishery supports commercial fishermen, dealers, gear providers and processors throughout the year. Fluctuations in landings have led to concerns over crab populations and the livelihood of the commercial crabbers they support. Continued demand for blue crab, coupled with fishery concerns, have driven some to consider the species for aquaculture, either for restoration efforts or for food production. Further, crabbers have expressed interest in using farm ponds as holding areas for shedding operations and for growing smaller, lower-grade crabs for more profit. Although various forms of crustacean aquaculture have succeeded, mainly for shrimp, commercial blue crab aquaculture has yet to be proven viable. To date, such efforts have been limited to research projects, several of which are outlined in this report.