For the past six years, a volunteer crew has been diligently visiting Nick’s Lagoon near Seabeck on Hood Canal, checking the waters for the destructive European green crab. The three citizen scientists have caught and released lots of native crabs — including thousands of hairy shore crabs. But, until May of this year, they never saw even one invasive green crab, known for its potential disruption of shellfish beds and destruction of native habitat. The discovery of a green crab in Central Hood Canal was fairly shocking for those involved. […]
As Americans, we have become all too familiar with the spread of a deadly virus and the terrible consequences of a delayed response to an outbreak. As a result of our experience, I’m wondering if some of us might have a more visceral sense about the need to control invasive species. I’m not saying that the ecological, economic and cultural disturbances wrought by invasive species are on par with a massive loss of human life. But the common denominator is a biological perturbation that occurs suddenly and threatens to expand […]
The state’s stay-at-home order has halted much of the field research that would normally be underway in Puget Sound this spring, but a small group of scientists and volunteers have been able to continue their search for an invading marauder along the shoreline. Their work has been classified as critical by the state. Eric Wagner reports for our magazine Salish Sea Currents on the search for the invasive green crab.
Genetic testing shows that invasive European green crabs in Puget Sound likely did not come from the Sooke Basin in British Columbia as previously thought. New findings on the crab’s origins were presented at the 2018 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference in Seattle. Scientists are looking at a variety of potential sources. Read the Story in Salish Sea Currents.
Last month, Puget Sound Institute senior writer Christopher Dunagan’s series on invasive species in Puget Sound highlighted some of the state’s worries about the arrival of the European green crab. The article noted that “the threat could be just around the corner.” It could not have been more timely. Several weeks after the article was published, volunteer crab spotters led by Washington Sea Grant made the region’s first green crab sighting. The crab was found on San Juan Island and it led to a rapid response coordinated by the state to find out if others had spread further. This week, another […]