Myracle, Beal quoted in SeafoodSource article on invasive green crabs

An article in SeafoodSource on the Green Crab Working Summit in Portland, Maine June 6 and 7 quoted Angela Myracle, an assistant professor of human nutrition at the University of Maine, and Brian Beal, a professor of marine ecology at the University of Maine at Machias. As the Gulf of Maine warms, the European green crab is becoming more common in the state and causing damage to native species, according to the article. The interactive working summit proposed ways the crabs could be utilized for food purposes, and presented scientific findings that showed reducing the number of crabs to a “manageable level” would be more effective than an unrealistic attempt to eliminate them completely. “We’re looking at this from a food perspective. If we get it into the food stream, I’m sure it will have a niche,” said Myracle, who has been investigating potential health benefits of the crabs for both humans and other animals. “I think trapping and mitigation is something we say to feel good,” said Beal. He explained that human intervention would be an “uphill battle,” since its proven success has been in cases where the species are endemic to Maine; green crabs are invasive and more difficult to control. The summit presented ways to adapt to this new reality, including measures like population control but also the possibility for economic benefits in the short term while the longer term environmental issue is being addressed.