The original award-winning NEFSC FishFAQ, created in 1993, has been archived.
For current information, please see our new FAQ.

How much does a blue crab increase in size on molting?

Under normal conditions, about a one-third increase occurs with each molt.
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What is the difference between soft and hard shell crabs?

They are the same species. A soft-shell crab is one that has just discarded its shell. Crabs which have just shed their shell hide in rocks or bury themselves in sand and mud to escape predators. They emerge after the new shell hardens, a quick process.


attack of the crab monsters movie poster

How old does a blue crab get?

A female may live 2 years, a male 3.

What is a "coconut crab"? Where do they live?

A large, land hermit crab, which lives on tropical Pacific islands. The crab is so named because it eats coconuts, is even caught on coconut used as bait. The meat is considered a delicacy in the islands.

Is a stone crab harmed when its large claw is broken off?

Fisherman often break off the large claw and throw the crab back into the water. If the break is made at the first joint, the crab is not harmed. The stone crab can and does sever its own claw at the first joint (by muscular contraction) to escape from danger.

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