Given the relative importance of the Chesapeake Bay hard blue crab fishery to the U.S. blue crab fishery , this paper analyzes ex-vessel prices for hard blue crabs landed in this region. The purpose is to evaluate alternative methods of forecasting ex-vessel prices for hard blue crabs in the Bay; both individual methods (trend extrapolation, econometric, and time-series) and composite methods. Examining the mean squared errors for the individual methods, the time-series model performs the best, with the econometric model slightly better than the trend extrapolation model. None of the composite methods outperforms the time-series model, although in some cases the differences are slight. Nevertheless, the time-series trend extrapolation composite outperforms all other models in identifying turning points. Generally speaking, it would appear that ex-vessel prices for hard blue crabs possess strong time dependencies , and consequently, better forecasts occur with time-series models than with econometric models.


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