Jonah Crab Population on Rise in MA, RI

Jonah Crab Population on Rise in MA, RI
Jonah crab, Photo/Maine Sea Grant.

Providence Business News reports that Jonah crabs are providing a boost to the incomes of Southern New England lobstermen. Jonah crabs have increased in abundance in local inshore waters, and landings have risen in local ports over the past several years.

According to the National Marine Fisheries Service, between 1995 and 2012, the most recent year of statistics, the Atlantic Jonah crab catch rose from 1.9 million pounds to 11.5 million pounds. Massachusetts fishermen landed 65% of the 2012 catch, with Rhode Island boats landing 28%. In 2012, the combined 10.8 million pounds of Jonah crab landed in those 2 states was estimated to be worth $7.9 million.

Fishermen suspect the boom in Jonah crabs is due to rising water temperatures in the region.

Read more about the expanding market for Jonah crabs in New England.