Canadian crabs migrated from the waters of Canada to Maine, United States, and that wouldn’t be a bad thing if they weren’t so aggressive. According to new research, those green crabs that came from Nova Scotia are belonging to the same species that populate the waters of Maine only that they are more aggressive than usual endangering coasts ecosystems in the region by eating soft-shell clams and destroying native eelgrass.
“What we’re seeing is this insane level of aggressiveness,” said Markus Frederich, a researcher at the University of New England.
Green crabs, regardless their aggressiveness levels, are already a threat to coastal ecosystems around the world as they are killing and eating soft-shell and young clams. Besides, they destroy the eelgrass layers where the young marine creatures are usually hiding from predator species.
However, the Canadian crabs are taking the threat to coastal ecosystems in the US to the next level.
Canadian crabs are threatening coastal ecosystems in the US
The University of New England graduate student Louis Logan had the challenging mission of capturing and labeling the green crabs for the research. He was the first to witness on his skin the Canadian crabs aggressiveness.
“Any time I went down to grab one they went to grab me instead,” Louis Logan said.
Once the crabs were tagged, the researchers started to study them. They put one Canadian green crab and one Maine crab on the same bed of eelgrass to observe the differences. Accordingly, the Canadian crabs shredded the eelgrass in no time struggling to scarf down marine organisms that might have been hiding there.
However, the problem is going to escalate as those aggressive Canadian crabs are moving southward and will soon affect other coastal ecosystems in the US. “We can’t do anything about it. The only thing that we can do is learn how to live with it,” concluded Louis Logan.
Jasmine holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition. Jasmine writes primarily in our LGBTTQQIAAP and Science section.