NOAA has awarded a $249,600 Sea Grant to the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), Gloucester Point, Virginia. The grant will support the third year's activities in improved management and use of estuarine and coastal resources on Chesapeake Bay.
Emphasizing research to improve crustacean and mollusk fisheries, the VIMS scientists are working on the general biology of the blue crab, are assessing rock crab for commercial potential, and are studying the distribution and habitat preferences of larval blue crabs. They are also working to determine the optimum conditions for holding blue crabs for commercial shedding by the soft crab industry. The VIMS group will increase its efforts to stimulate industry use of clam protection methods already developed in the program. VIMS plans to supply seed clams for commercial plantings while encouraging industry to develop commercial sources.