Senior Project Advisor

Love, Brooke

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2020


European Green Crab, mitigation, management, aquatic invasive species


This report presents a background on the invasive European green crab ( Carcinus maenas ), describes a variety of techniques to monitor and manage their presence in the region, and puts forth several comprehensive strategies for mitigating a potential invasion of C. maenas in the Salish Sea. C. maenas was likely initially introduced to the Pacific coast of the United States as larvae carried in ballast water, though they are also spread as larval by currents and as hitchhikers in seafood transport. C. maenas tolerates a wide range of salinities, temperatures, and habitats, they prey on virtually any available species, and they are aggressively competitive. They are capable of reproducing multiple times in a year and their larvae can be carried long distances by currents. These among other factors make C. maenas adept at establishing themselves in new regions, and once established they can have extreme impacts on the ecosystem. C. maenas poses a threat to biodiversity as they outcompete and prey upon local species, but knowledge of their life history and their interactions with the environment can be used to design and enhance management plans, to increase their efficiency and specificity. Traps can be designed and baited to catch C. maenas with higher selectivity. Larval behavior can be integrated with tidal and current data to predict where invasions are likely and determine which sites should be monitored for early detection. Citizens can be educated in identification of C. maenas and participate in beach surveys and early detection efforts. With the information and proposed strategies outlined in this project, mitigation of the potential impacts of a C. maenas invasion in Whatcom County waters will be more surmountable.


Environmental Sciences

Subjects - Topical (LCSH)

Carcinus maenas--Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.); Environmental monitoring--Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.); Marine biological invasions--Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.); Marine ecosystem management--Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)


Student project; term paper




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