One day, you may get soft-shell crabs from Mississippi

OCEAN SPRINGS, MISS. That soft-shell crab you enjoy at your favorite seafood restaurant or that cocktail crab you order as an appetizer likely came from Southeast Asia, not the Mississippi Gulf.

But, if research at the University of Southern Mississippi's Blue Crab Hatchery pans out, you might one day be eating soft-shell blue crabs farmed by Coastal fishermen in ponds on their own land.

"What this work does is a diversification of the blue crab industry," said Kelly Lucas, aquaculture director at the Thad Cochran Marine Aquaculture Center, located near the Blue Crab Hatchery in Ocean Springs. "Fishermen can switch from the wild to supplement their fishing by raising (blue crabs)."

The university operates the only blue crab hatchery in the United States. Production of soft-shell blue crabs is one of the oldest aquaculture industries in the country.

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