By Fiona McDonald | August 23, 2022
This summer, the StrongerBC Metro Vancouver Action Team has been working with the Friends of Semiahmoo Bay Society and Fisheries and Oceans Canada to survey for the invasive European green crab in Boundary Bay, BC.
European green crabs were recently discovered only a few kilometres away on another part of the Bay at Blackie Spit by volunteer crews. Action Team members Briana Walter, Grace Sabo, and Adrian Reese worked with volunteers from Friends of Semiahmoo Bay Society to set traps baited with herring and minnows just off of Centennial Beach and returned the next day to see what had been caught.
Fortunately, during this survey, only native shore crabs and sculpins were found and were promptly returned to the ocean. Had they found European green crabs, they wouldn’t have been put back in the water, instead the crabs would have been frozen and sent to Fisheries and Oceans Canada for further analyses.
Why are we crabby about European green crab?
European green crabs are generalists that feed on a variety of shellfish, other crabs, and other invertebrates. They’re known to outcompete native crabs for resources and are highly damaging to eelgrass beds, which are critical habitat for many species of marine invertebrates and fish, including Pacific herring and Pacific salmon species.
How can you help prevent the spread of European green crab
The best thing you can do is remember to Clean, Drain, Dry your watercraft and equipment!
Please do not survey for crabs on your own – all volunteers and action team members surveying for green crabs have permissions to enter ecologically sensitive areas. If you do happen to find a European green crab along the shore, please take a photo, mark your precise location, don’t return it to the water and report it as soon as possible.
Learn more about European green crab
ISCBC offers an informative and free eLearning course on the European green crab. In only 10 minutes you can learn about this invasive and what actions can be taken to prevent its spread. Check out it here.
ISCBC is grateful for the StrongerBC funding from the Province of BC that supports individuals in training and providing work for people whose jobs were impacted by the COVID 19 pandemic and to help protect BC’s lands and waters from invasive species.
Fiona McDonald is a Communications Coordinator with ISCBC and primarily manages our social media accounts. She is an avid birder, nature photographer, and can usually be found outside making fun, educational nature content to share her love of the outdoors with everyone. You can reach Fiona at firstname.lastname@example.org or find her on TikTok @bcinvasives