Friday, July 18, 2008
One of my favorite meals on my occasional jaunt from New Jersey to sail somewhere on the Chesapeake was soft shell crabs. They are blue crabs caught just after molting (before the new shell has had time to harden) and are cooked after cutting out the gills, face and guts, and eaten whole. They are usually battered and fried, and can be eaten as a main course or in a sandwich.
Now that we live in Rhode Island it's unlikely I will be traveling very often to regattas in Maryland, home of the best soft-shell crabs in the country.
According to this article at Science Daily, "A detailed analysis of data from nearly 50 years of weekly fish-trawl surveys in Narragansett Bay and adjacent Rhode Island Sound has revealed a long-term shift in species composition, which scientists attribute primarily to the effects of global warming."
The study's overall prediction is that, "Narragansett Bay is soon going to resemble estuaries to the south of us -- Delaware Bay, Chesapeake Bay -- so we'll experience what they are experiencing now. It will continue to get warmer and attract more southern species, such as blue crabs. Species that couldn't complete their life cycle here before may be able to do that now."
Wooooo hoooo. So one day Rhode Island will be like Maryland. And soft shell crabs will be the Rhode Island crustacean of choice. Who said global warming was a bad thing?