Wednesday July 27, 2022

Alaska Public Media

An invasive species that could wreak havoc on commercial and subsistence fisheries has been found in Alaska for the first time. Biologists with Metlakatla Indian Community say they found the first evidence of European green crabs on Annette Island, near the southern tip of Southeast Alaska, in mid-July.

The crustaceans are a threat to ecosystems and commercial fisheries. They uproot eelgrass beds in search of food, which serve as habitat for herring and salmon.

NOAA Fisheries biologist Linda Shaw says they’re a particular threat to fellow shellfish.

“They compete with juvenile Dungeness crab. They are shellfish predators, so things like clams, they would directly eat,” she said. “And then there’s also anecdotal information from British Columbia that they predate on juvenile salmon.”

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