Damage, Possible Solutions
by Laurie Schreiber
ORONO – The presence of dense populations of non-native European green crabs along Maine’s coast is having cascading effects that are devastating the well-being of other species and their habitats.
But with careful monitoring and consistent attention to the problem, there may be some hope for controlling the aggressive invader, and maybe even finding a marketable use for its meat.
Those were the main messages offered by folks who have been studying the animals, during the Maine Green Crab Summit, a conclave of scientists, fishermen, fishery managers, environmentalists, and other stakeholders at the University of Maine/Orono who met Dec. 16.
“We realized we had a problem,” Waldoboro Shellfish Commissioner and fisherman Abden Simmons said of his area’s experience. “We have a problem in this state and the fishermen are paying for it. Now the fishermen are going to have to step up and do something about it.”