The golden crab is a large gold or buff colored species whose diagnostic characters include a hexagonal carapace; five anterolateral teeth on each side of carapace; well-developed, large frontal teeth; shallow, rounded orbits; chelipeds unequal; and the dactyli of the walking legs laterally compressed.
Golden crab inhabit the continental slope of Bermuda and the southeastern United States from off Chesapeake Bay south through the Straits of Florida and into the eastern Gulf of Mexico.
Reported depth distributions of C. fenneri range from 205 m off the Dry Tortugas to 1007 m off Bermuda. Size of males examined range from 34 to 139 mm carapace length (CL) and females range from 39 to 118 mm CL. Ovigerous females have been reported during September, October and November, and range in size from 91 to 118 mm CL.
South Atlantic Federal Regulations
The South Atlantic EEZ is divided into three fishing zones for golden crab. A vessel owner must indicate on the initial application for a commercial vessel permit the zone in which the vessel will fish. A permitted vessel may fish for golden crab only in the zone shown on its permit. A vessel may possess golden crab only in that zone, except that other zones may be transited if the vessel notifies NMFS, Office of Enforcement, Southeast Region, St. Petersburg, FL, by telephone (727-824-5344) in advance and does not fish in an unpermitted zone.
Note: A control date of December 7, 2010 has been established for the fishery. See NOAA Fishery Bulletin for details.
The designated fishing zones are as follows:
- Northern zone: the South Atlantic EEZ north of 28 degrees N. lat.
- Middle zone: the South Atlantic EEZ from 25 degrees N. lat. to 28 degrees N. lat.
- Southern zone: the South Atlantic EEZ south of 25 degrees N. lat.