Friday, February 28, 2014

Green Crab Forum Offers Informative Presentation on Invasive Species

Yesterday I distributed the following press release regarding a special green crab forum I am hosting with Representatives Brad Hill and Ann-Margaret Ferrante, Shellfish Constable Jack Grundstrom, and the Division of Marine Fisheries:

Green Crab Forum Offers Informative Presentation on Invasive Species

Sen. Tarr, Cape Ann Lawmakers, Constable Grundstrom, and DMF Host March 3rd Forum

Boston- Since the early 1800s, the carcinus maenas, or more commonly known as green crabs, have been invading the waters off the coast of Massachusetts and New England harming native habitats as it continues to colonize.  This invasive species has grown so rapidly over the years that it is now threatening marine wildfire, including fisheries that are harvested by local fishermen.  If left unchecked, the devastating path created by the green crab population will not only have a lasting effect on oceanic life, but also on local economies.

Due to the dire situation, Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester), State Representative Brad Hill (R-Ipswich), and State Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante (D-Gloucester) have joined with Rowley Shellfish Constable Jack Grundstrom, and the Division of Marine Fisheries to offer a special open to the public Green Crab Forum on Monday, March 3rd to discuss the very real threat of green crabs.

            Who:   Senator Bruce Tarr, Shellfish Constable Jack Grundstrom, and Division of Marine Fisheries

            What:  Open to the public Green Crab Forum

            Where: Anniquam River Marine Fisheries Field Station
                        30 Emerson Ave.
                        Gloucester, MA 01930

            When: Monday, March 3rd

            “Green crabs pose a strong and growing threat to our shellfish resources, our shellfish industry, and the integrity and sustainability of our marshes and wetlands,” said Senator Tarr.  “Confronting that threat is going to take a comprehensive effort and innovation.”

             Green crabs, which are originally from Europe, feed normally on shellfish such as blue mussels and soft-shell clams.  Due to the recent acceleration in size, the invasive species has become destructive to the survival of native species.  In order to prevent further damage to the local marine habitat, planning and action must be taken immediately in a coordinated and responsible fashion.

            Some highlights of the evening’s agenda include:

·         A brief history of the green crab species;

·         Impacts caused by the green crab; and
·         Controlling the green crab threat.

“In order to prevent further destruction of our fragile marine ecosystem from the invasive green crabs, we as a region need to work together to protect the natural habitat and the shellfish industry,” said Representative Brad Hill (R-Ipswich).

“This forum is important so we can learn more about the eco-system and of natural predators not just the effects of overfishing,” said Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante (D-Gloucester).