PHOTOS: Volunteers sought for South Surrey invasive-crab efforts

European green crab (DFO photo)European green crab (DFO photo)
Biologist Lori Schlechtleitner holds a crab native to the Surrey shoreline. Efforts to survey, trap and identify the European Green Crab in local waters continue. (Contributed photo)Biologist Lori Schlechtleitner holds a crab native to the Surrey shoreline. Efforts to survey, trap and identify the European Green Crab in local waters continue. (Contributed photo)
Lori Schlechtleitner waits as Dave Shorter places a Fukui trap in one of the Blackie Spit salt march channels on Sept. 25, 2020. Efforts to survey, trap and identify the European Green Crab in local waters continue. (Tracy Holmes file photo)Lori Schlechtleitner waits as Dave Shorter places a Fukui trap in one of the Blackie Spit salt march channels on Sept. 25, 2020. Efforts to survey, trap and identify the European Green Crab in local waters continue. (Tracy Holmes file photo)

For anyone feeling crabby these days, upcoming volunteer and information opportunities with Friends of Semiahmoo Bay Society may be the antidote.

Volunteers are sought to help with a series of European Green Crab initiatives, starting with one at Blackie Spit this coming Monday (Sept. 6), from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and Tuesday (Sept. 7), from noon to 2 p.m.

The “voracious little invasive” – described as one of the world’s top-10 unwanted species – has been found in local waters in recent years, and experts say if it takes hold it, it could threaten their biodiversity, including the intertidal eelgrass “nursery.”

It “will eat anything that fits in its mouth,” biologist/ecologist Lori Schlechtleitner told Peace Arch News in September 2020.

READ MORE: PHOTOS: ‘One of worst’ invasive crustaceans found on South Surrey shoreline

“You’ve got to respect it for being so incredibly adaptive,” Schlechtleitner continued. “But it does have the potential to decimate.”

FOSBS is spearheading local efforts to survey, identify and trap the spiny crustaceans, which were first found in Canadian waters in 1951. It’s believed they arrived in B.C. between 1998 and 1999.

In addition to trapping efforts on Sept. 6-7, help is sought for Sept. 12-13 at Elgin Heritage Park (starting at 4 p.m. and 5 p.m., respectively), and Sept. 18-19 at Blackie Spit (from 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., respectively). There is also a survey planned for Sept. 27-28 at Centennial Beach in Delta (at 4:30 p.m. and 5 p.m., respectively). For detailed information on times and where to meet, visit birdsonthebay.ca and click on the events calendar.

For those wanting to learn more about European Green Crabs and why they are a concern, a pair of hour-long online training and introductory sessions are planned. Set for Sept. 8 and 14 at 6:30 p.m., they will be hosted on Zoom by a representative of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. To participate, RSVP to edoutreach@birdsonthebay.ca and a link will be provided.



tholmes@peacearchnews.com
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