Director of Research Dr. Brian Beal and Associate Director Sara Randall presented the results of DEI’s extensive green crab trapping, crab growth rates, along with recently published studies showing predation from green crabs and others to be the cause of 99-100% post-settlement mortality of juvenile clams.
DEI’s research indicate that it is not possible to reduce green crab populations locally through trapping in open systems, including rivers, and that green crabs should be thought of as part of the permanent inhabitants of the marine coastal environment. It also found that predation is the most important factor regulating soft-shell clam populations in Maine and 99%-100% of settling clams are being lost to clam predators from flats each year. Efforts to establish green crab fishery should not take away from the need to immediately deploy large-scale projects to protect soft-shell clams from predators, as science shows that this is the most important way to protect our soft-shell clam fishery.
Read more about the Green Crab Working Summit in Seafood Source and the Portland Press Herald.