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Talk on Invasive Green Crab Looks at Its History on S. Oregon Coast, Coos Bay

Published 09/19/22 at 5:55 PM
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Talk on Invasive Green Crab Looks at Its History on S. Oregon Coast, Coos Bay

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(Coos Bay, Oregon) – Oh, the lowly European green crab: that annoying invasive species along the Oregon coast that has become a mix of pariah and growing culinary delight. (Photo above: Coos Bay. Courtesy Manuela Durson - see Manuela Durson Fine Arts for more)

On October 4, the south Oregon coast's Coos History Museum will be hosting a presentation on the unwanted morsel in its First Tuesday Talk, featuring Dr. Shon Schooler, lead scientist with the South Slough Reserve: Oregon Department of State Lands. He'll talk about “History of the Green Crab Invasion of Coos Bay” at 6 p.m. that day.

The presentation will be a hybrid format: there are options to join online via Zoom or in-person at the CHM with doors open from 5:30 PM – 7:30 p.m. Registration for this presentation is free for CHM Members, $7 for non-members attending in person, and $5 for non-members attending online.


European Green Crab, courtesy University of Washington / Washington Sea Grant

Shon looks at the invasive European green crab with a fresh, new professional perspective. He will share information about the history of how this species came to inhabit our local coastal waters, and how it could be potentially harmful to native Oregon coast species and the region's environment. Learn about the status of the green crab invasion, what has been learned about this crustacean in recent history, and what may happen as the green crab population increases.

The European green crab has been the subject of much discussion on the Oregon coast and Washington coast recently, with wildlife officials in both regions greatly upping the catch limit of the crab, hoping the population may get drained.

They are considered a threat to native shellfish, disrupting the populations of crabs, clams, oysters, etc. Thus, authorities like Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) increased the daily bag limit from 10 to 35 this year. Officials are hoping this encourages a greater harvest. Its Washington coast counterpart Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has worked with dozens of other partners to remove them, although recreational gathering is not permitted there.

In increasingly greater numbers,recreational shellfish enthusiasts from around the Oregon coast have been reporting catching the green crab more and more, and many have voiced support for harvesting them.

On the East Coast, restaurants there have been finding it an increasingly popular dish, and scientists at NOAA are working to encourage a commercial fishery industry.

To register for this program please visit the CHM website (cooshistory.org/events/first-tuesday-talks-oct-2022) or register at the Coos History Museum’s front desk. You may also contact the museum via email at director@cooshistory.org or by phone at 541-756-6320 x213.

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Above: Coos History Museum, courtesy photos


Photos above courtesy Oregon's Adventure Coast

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