600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091
July 21, 1998
Contact: Jeff Weathersby, (360) 902-2256
Green crabs found in Grays Harbor
ABERDEEN -- Green crabs, a non-native species which threatens Washington
shellfish, have been found in Grays Harbor, the Washington Department of Fish and
Wildlife announced today.
The capture of 11 green crabs today by WDFW personnel in Grays Harbor
represents the northernmost invasion by the crabs, which are native to Europe and
As a result of today's findings, WDFW will set traps in Puget Sound to determine
if the species has expanded into other marine areas of Washington. Green crabs last
month were found last month in Willapa Bay. No other coastal areas offer the protected
rocky shores, sandflats and tidal marshes in which the crabs thrive.
The crab's versatility and ability to open shells make it a major threat to
Washington clams, oysters and mussels.
WDFW recently passed emergency regulations that make it illegal to possess or
transport green crabs in Washington. WDFW also has taken steps to control the
transfer of shellfish and equipment used in the shellfish industry from Willapa Bay and