Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Crab Nabbed, Circumstances Fishy: West Coast Crustacean Found In Atlantic Waters

Date:
September 1, 2006
Source:
Massachusetts Institute Of Technology
Summary:
MIT researchers have confirmed the first sighting of a Dungeness crab in the Atlantic Ocean. The male, whose species is common on North America's West Coast, was caught off Thatcher Island, Massachusetts, on July 19 by Lou Williams, captain of the fishing vessel Orin C. The origin of the crab is not known.

This Dungeness crab, a West Coast species, was caught by Captain Lou Williams of the Orin C two miles east of Thatcher Island, Massachusetts, on July 19. It's about 18 cm wide.
Credit: Photo Brandy Wilbur, MIT Sea Grant

MIT researchers have confirmed the first sighting of a Dungeness crab in the Atlantic Ocean. The male, whose species is common on North America's West Coast, was caught off Thatcher Island, Massachusetts, on July 19 by Lou Williams, captain of the fishing vessel Orin C.

Related Articles


The origin of the crab is not known. One possibility is that it may have been purchased from a live seafood market and released. The size of the crab (18 cm) and its gender suggest it most likely arrived as an adult exotic species. Also known as invasive species or bioinvaders, exotic species are of concern because they can establish themselves in a new ecosystem, where they can proliferate and push out native species.

The crab was caught while Williams was gillnetting for groundfish at 45 fathoms. Suspecting the crab to be a Dungeness, he took it to Brandy Wilbur, aquaculture specialist for MIT Sea Grant, and Eric Sabo, educator at the Gloucester Maritime Heritage Center, for verification.

After distributing photographs of the crab to several scientists, the researchers received confirmation of the species, Cancer magister, from several experts: Julie Barber, Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries; Thomas C. Shirley, Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi; David Tapley, Salem State College; and Richard Strathmann and Eugene Kozloff, the University of Washington's Friday Harbor Laboratories.

Judy Pederson, MIT Sea Grant's manager for coastal resources and an expert on marine invasives, says that the finding of a female crab would have raised greater concerns about the possibility of a marine bioinvasion. In the West Coast fishery for Dungeness crab, only males may be caught and sold. Pederson adds that the chance of two species of crabs cross mating is highly unlikely. However, she points out that the male crab could carry hitchhikers, such as native Pacific barnacles, or diseases that could harm native crustaceans, such as Jonah and rock crabs.

While the crab's method of entry is unknown, Pederson notes that the capture underscores the importance of not releasing any seafood into natural waters. In addition, MIT Sea Grant's Wilbur notes that this finding should put seafood distributors and fishermen on watch.

MIT Sea Grant will be producing and distributing "most wanted" posters to help those who might come across a Dungeness crab identify it and alert authorities.

Suspected sightings can be reported to Judy Pederson, MIT Sea Grant, at [email protected] or 617-252-1741. For more information about marine bioinvasions, visit massbay.mit.edu/exoticspecies; for information about the hazards of dumping seafood, visit massbay.mit.edu/seafood.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Massachusetts Institute Of Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Massachusetts Institute Of Technology. "Crab Nabbed, Circumstances Fishy: West Coast Crustacean Found In Atlantic Waters." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 September 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/060822173253.htm>.
Massachusetts Institute Of Technology. (2006, September 1). Crab Nabbed, Circumstances Fishy: West Coast Crustacean Found In Atlantic Waters. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/060822173253.htm
Massachusetts Institute Of Technology. "Crab Nabbed, Circumstances Fishy: West Coast Crustacean Found In Atlantic Waters." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/060822173253.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Millions of monarch butterflies begin to descend onto Mexico as part of their annual migration south. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Newsy (Dec. 19, 2014) A new study suggests a certain type of bird was able to sense a tornado outbreak that moved through the U.S. a day before it hit. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins