Date of Award

Fall 2011

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Elizabeth Fairchild


The spatial and temporal distribution of the green crab, Carcinus maenas, along with various green crab population parameters, were studied in two New Hampshire estuaries over a one-year period from November 2009 to October 2010. Results show that foraging activity in Great Bay Estuary peaked in December and March, and in HSE, in April and November. Crabs in both estuaries experienced synchronous breeding periods. Males experienced two molts per year in April and November, while females molted synchronously in June. Embryogenesis was accomplished within the month of June. Minimum size at maturity for females in New Hampshire was larger than the size at which maturity is attained by crabs in Maine and Canada. Trap saturation and escapement experiments were conducted in order to suggest modifications that could be made to experimental traps in order to increase catch per unit effort in future endeavors. A nutritional analysis of a homogenate of whole green crabs revealed that green crabs would likely make a suitable fishmeal substitute for ash tolerant species in aquaculture and agriculture.