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Invasive Species- Green Crab (larva) Found in Lax Kw’alaams Traditional Waters

by ahnationtalk on June 2, 202082 Views

The Green Crab is an invasive species, native to coastal Europe, North Africa and Asia. Studies performed in the Prince Rupert Harbour jurisdiction in Winter 2019 detected the presence of green crab larva and adults.

Background

  • This is a small aggressive marine shore crab found in the rocky intertidal and estuarine areas.
  • This species is an effective forager, adept at opening bivalve shells, feeds on many organisms including clams, cockles, mussels, marine worms, juvenile clams and juvenile crab as primary food sources, and will graze on algae and fucus. When green crabs are present, total exclusion of mussels and clams in the rocky low intertidal zone have been observed
  • Their natural habitat is located under rocks, out of reach of natural predators, like octopus
  • Research has shown that green crab has the potential to outcompete Dungeness Crab and shorebirds, as they have similar prey.

Identification

  • Carapace is generally oval 90mm across
  • Have 5 prominent marginal teeth
  • 3 rostral bumps
  • Claws are not rounded
  • Last pair of walking legs are slightly flattened
  • Colouration is green, brown, reddish, typically with orange joint

If discovered during harvest activities, destroy animal and do not dispose of carcass in water.

For questions or concerns, please contact Katherine Butts, Senior Fisheries Biologist at 250-627-5733 ext 2005 or email katherine_fisheries@laxband.com.

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