Skip to comments.Chinese mitten crab set to pummel N.J. ecology
Posted on 08/24/2009 5:53:00 PM PDT by Coleus
The patches of dense hair, located near the white-tipped pincers, earned the Chinese mitten crab its deceptively benign name.
But there is nothing soft or comforting about these invasive Asian critters, and lately that have taken a sudden shine to New Jersey waters.
While long treasured as a culinary delight in their native East Asia, the crabs have become a scourge to most everyone else. In Europe, they have eroded estuaries by burrowing into earthen dams and river banks. In California, the only state where they have gained a major foothold so far, mitten tribes have exploded into a major ecological nightmare, venturing inland to clog water systems in Central Valley, and disrupting fishing operations in San Francisco Bay, where they steal bait and get entangled in fishing gear. Predatory as well as vegetarian, they crowd out other species by eating their food supply and sometimes by eating them.
As near as anyone can figure, they have been on the march in North America since 1965, when a lone crab was discovered in Ontario. But they are being seen in plenty of places now.
On the Atlantic Coast, the 2006 discovery of just one male crab near Maryland's coastal waters sent fishermen into alarm. Scientists are monitoring the situation. Only about 50 of the crabs have surfaced from Maryland to the Hudson River in New York in the past three years, but for reasons yet unexplained, sightings have increased this year -- and most of them have been in New Jersey.
"So far, 40 crabs have been caught, reported and confirmed in New Jersey alone, making that state ground zero right now for mitten crabs," said Gregory Ruiz, a senior scientist at the Marine Invasions Research Lab of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Maryland.
(Excerpt) Read more at nj.com ...
a crab with mittens is sort of like a doberman with a muzzle, isn’t it?
Question - Do they taste good?
If so - Whats the big deal ?
How come the local seafood restaurants have not been called to “collect” them?
Mitten crabs, gobies, bark beetles, swine flu, some variety of mosquito, not to mention melamine, lead paint. It’s great being part of the global community.
“Its great being part of the global community.”
LOL I was just thinking the same thing. We need to be more tolerant of these “undocumented” visitors. If we were only more understanding, perhaps we could learn something from them.
They have HAIR! Sick!
That’s about the size of it. We should farm and harvest the little suckers, then send them to the Chinese to offset some of our debt with them.
Bet I can think of something that has hair that you would LOVE to eat!
Keep in mind I'm a Christian and a woman. And make it NOT be seafood please.
Dem’s good eatings.