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The blue crab, which is harvested by the millions every year,
supports an important fishery along the Eastern and Gulf coasts of
the United States. However, a recent crash in the blue crab
population has devastated the commercial crab industry. The cause of
this dramatic crash is now the subject of an intense investigation
by ecologists and fishery scientists. There are hints that
weather–related changes may be responsible. There is also
evidence that a parasitic disease in blue crabs has become both more
prevalent and more severe. Marine biologists Richard Lee and Marc
Frischer have been studying these events along the coast of
southeastern Georgia, a region that has been especially hard hit, to
see whether the two phenomena might be related.
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