Another Invasive Species Found in Maine:UM Machias students discover invasive crab in Beals which poses threat to Maine’s shoreline ecosystem

MACHIAS, Maine — A group of students from the University of Maine-Machias made a bittersweet discovery this week. They found an Asian shore crab on Great Wass Island in Beals, the northernmost point where the crab has been sighted. [email protected] 22:52

One Response to Another Invasive Species Found in Maine:UM Machias students discover invasive crab in Beals which poses threat to Maine’s shoreline ecosystem

  1. Here we go again, another invasive species news story on a so called newly discovered species that “may” pose a threat to the shoreline ecosystem. Haven’t we all heard this story line before?

    Here down here in the flatlands of NYC, Asian crabs have been around since the late 90’s with fishermen who target our favorite wrasse flipping over rocks and large stones along the Long Island Sound shoreline and ending up catching buckets full of crab that looks pretty similar to the once common “fiddler” or “China-Back” that was shipped to New York and New Jersey Bait & Tackle shops for the last few decades.

    Now with over a decade and a half of this invasive species taking up residence along our shoreline, amazingly these gifts from mother nature like the much larger Green crab, have not been a threat to our shoreline ecosystem…the threat which has been screwing up our local waters and the ecosystem that lives along our shorelines has been the purposeful discharge of a by product from sewage treatment, chlorine.

    Just the other day, a local fishermen who has been catching this so called invasive species along the rocky shores on the western part of Long Island Sound for over a decade told me that a cottage industry of foreign speaking bait fishermen, born in a number of far-away Pacific Rim lands, seem to come in mass starting in September, and will literally lift every stone and take the last of these little crabs that were quietly huddled together under these rocks….and with the thoroughness these bait fishermen do for a few months of the season of not even leaving a crab or two, the next year brings another wonderful bounty of these Asian crabs again taking residence under the same rocks.

    We don’t know what they do with the Asian crab once the season ends. Maybe they make their own version of spaghetti with clams, kimchi ala Asian crab, but none the less, it seems these crabs continue to show up each and every year, and many thankfully are happy to see them each and every time they pick up some rock along our shores.

    News stories such as this will of course get the attention and raise the blood pressure of those who say “we have to do something quickly or else”…something akin to the climate-change wacko-birds.

    Mother nature has a way of just working things out as it has since the creation of earth, and if the Asian crab finds the conditions right for taking up residence and prospering along our shorelines, so be it. The threat to our shorelines is man made, and no doubt as we continue to discharge both treated and untreated sewage as well as other man-made chemicals into our waterways, this will have a much greater and more detrimental effect to our environment. One only has to see what has happened to our inshore winter blackback flounder stock over the past two decades, the same time line as full time sewage treatment has become more apparent along our coast.

    Yes its about water quality and not about some crab brought over from far away lands that are the biggest issue concerning the health of the species along our shorelines.Maybe a little more time spent on solving water treatment issues will be more productive then in worrying about some little crab which seems to be prospering in new far reaching areas in our region.

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