Thursday, August 4, 2011

Crabbing in Southie

I never have a boring day at Harry McDonough in Southie. Today was another afternoon of successful crabbing on both the docks and the beach. We caught all different sized green crabs. The kids are all so enthusiastic about catching crabs and other sea creatures! It makes my job a lot easier. They never get tired of pulling up the traps, hoping to catch an even bigger crab then the last haul. I am always so impressed as they easily identify the crab species and gender.
As we were examining our bucket full of crabs, one of the campers unknowingly brought up a really interesting point. He asked, "How come we only catch Green crabs?" This would not have been the case even just a few years ago. Over my years working at Save the Harbor, it seems that the numbers of invasive crabs (like the green crabs) has dramatically increased compared to native ones (Red Rock crabs). I explained to our young explorer how invasives can overrun the native crabs and cause major problems for the local ecosystem. With no natural predators, invasives can run free and increase dramatically in numbers. They take away the homes and food of the native Red Rock crabs, eventually causing the dramatic decrease in numbers. It is almost impossible to stop an invasive species once they have established themselves. Many environmental groups recognize this and therefore work to stop invasive species before they enter a local ecosystem.
-Tom Regan

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