Dec 17, 2013

Green Crabs Summit - have the crabs won?

Listen to two speakers then a discussion on the monumental invasion and occupation of Maine state coastal waters by Carcinus Maenas, the Green Crab, and find out who won "this round".

Dr Cynthia McKenzie of the Canadian Dept of Fisheries and Oceans, Newfoundland,  and Chad Coffin, head of Maine Clammers Association, spoke in the afternoon session of the December 16, 2013 Maine Green Crab Summit at the University of Maine in Orono. The event was also streamed live on the internet.

Cynthia McKenzie 30 min 
Chad Coffin, 36 minutes
Panel Discussion 17 minutes
Pat Keliher  13 minutes

Recordings also include a discussion - occasionally very heated - among the panel and the audience,  including those on the internet, followed by closing remarks by Maine DMR Commissioner Pat Keliher.  The most important consensus of the summit was to kill as many green crabs as possible. Efforts are also underway by the Maine Clammers Association to establish gated-off crab-free coves.

 Coffin of the Clammers' Association heaped scorn on "coastal cleanups" as wastes of money and volunteer energy for cosmetic improvements, and suggested  the money and effort be better spent on  habitat and or species restoration.

Coffin also urged that towns with under 20 licensed commercial clammers lose their municipal shellfish commission, saving DMR money to concentrate on those places with viable shellfisheries and saving those towns the expense of an armed shellfish warden. "There's no clams for them to protect? Doffin said.

Little more than a century after introduction into the Gulf of Maine, the swarming green crab has succeeded in wiping out softshelled clams and mussels.

It is outcompeting lobsters for shallow water lobster trap bait and other foods. Is gnawing eelgrass flat and is boring holes in saltmarsh sediments.

Have the green crabs won?

No comments: