Sep 3, 2004

Invader Update

This morning, put out an update request out to the Gulf of Maine's researchers investigating the movements of invader shorecrab Hemigrapsus sanguineus. With summer's end, the researchers are wrapping up their hunts across the region's intertidal zone for the little crustacean invader, newest arthropod from away to try to colonize the Gulf of Maine's shores.

The response (caveated with the usual cautions of scientists handling raw data) is that it appears that "[N]umbers in southern Maine have slightly increased, but Hemi has not spread further east, and the furthest east collection site is still Isle au Haut. We came up empty in eastern Penobscot Bay, around MDI, and in Washington County."

Ha! The little buggers' eastward movement seem to be stymied.
Last year's crab-watch found them the the shores of Isle au Haute; in 2001 and 2002, Asian Shore Crabs (ASC's) were captured on Crescent Beach in Owls Head.
What with their alleged predatory habits towards juvenile lobsters, ASCs may end up changing the 60 million dollar/year crustacean economy of west Penobscot Bay.