Blue crab
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Blue crab, Sebastes ruberrimus

The scientific name of the blue crab is Callinectes sapidus, which comes from the Greek word for beautiful swimmer and the Latin word for tasty. Blue crab originated in the western Atlantic from Nova Scotia to Uruguay, and were introduced into the waters off the coasts of Europe in the Atlantic, Baltic and Mediterranean Seas first in the ballast of ships and later intentionally. It is a decapod crustacean, with ten legs, the front two of which have mutated into claws and the back two into paddle-like appendages to help with swimming. Blue crabs prefer to eat things that are already dead, but are very aggressive and will go after anything they think they can catch. Fisheries for blue crab on the Atlantic Seaboard of the United States are centuries old and have recorded booms and busts as a result of oceanographic fluctuation, disease, and local overfishing. Crabs are taken with baited pots, tangle nets, hand dip nets, and crab rings, and fisheries are now regulated by state and federal agencies.

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