Good crab, bad crab: local project to protect marine life expands

The invasive Green Crab is pictured from 4 perspectives.
The invasive Green Crab is a threat to native ecosystems in the Salish Sea. Image courtesy of Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
Loni Taylor - CKTZ - Cortes IslandBC | 12-04-2023
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Friends of Cortes Island (FOCI) is expanding on the Lighttrap Project to detect an invasive Green Crab threatening the native ecosystems of the Salish Sea.

The project, a collaboration with the Hakai Institute, requires local volunteers to check the traps as they look for the valued native Dungeness Crab and it’s invasive relative.

Helen Hall, executive director of FOCI, describes the opportunity as a “marine treasure hunt” that results in tons of other fascinating discoveries apart from the crab monitoring. She recalled an especially intriguing find, as “these little tiny octopus were sitting inside a teaspoon.”

The hope is that data will continue to see a thriving diversity of marine life in the traps, especially Dungeness Crab. Since this is the first year that the project includes specific monitoring for the invasive Green Crab, citizen scientists have something on their radar that they don’t want to find as well. Hall said the Green Crab can have a huge impact on ecosystems.

“They're one of the most invasive and harmful crabs in the world. And they basically wreck the marine ecosystem, which everything else depends on....And if we find them, they will send over a team of people to eliminate them.”

For more information, email or call 250.935.0087.

To find out more about this local research opportunity, listen to the CKTZ News Update below: