November 18, 2013
ELLSWORTH, Maine — Green crabs are starting to make some coastal Maine residents see red.
The crabs have been found in coastal waters off Maine for around a hundred years, but it’s only in the past few that they’ve drawn the ire and attention of fishermen and scientists in the state.
Officials have been receiving reports from fishermen that the coastal population of the crabs, which migrated to North America from Europe with shipping traffic in the late 1800s, has shot up, according to Kohl Kanwit of the Maine Department of Marine Resources — and eelgrass beds and soft-shell crabs have been paying the price.
That’s why, in late August, DMR organized a one-day, coast-wide survey to try to get a handle on exactly how many green crabs might be skittering around the shallow waters off Maine’s beaches and marshlands.