Green crab

Invasive European green crab threaten native habitat and species along the Washington coast and Puget Sound.


The European green crab (Carcinus maenas) is a small shore crab whose native distribution is in the northeast Atlantic Ocean and Baltic Sea, according to NOAA Fisheries, ranging along coasts from northern Africa to Norway and Iceland.

The crab is an effective predator, adept at opening bivalve shells, and has been blamed for harming the soft shell clam industry on the U.S. East Coast and, more recently, the West Coast — including areas in Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor.

Several varieties of shellfish — including clams, mussels, oysters and juvenile Dungeness crab — are all susceptible to predation by the diminutive crab.

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