R-20-02 Market development as mitigation strategy for ecosystem damage and predation by invasive green crab

Jennifer Perry
University of Maine

Denise Skonberg
University of maine

Marissa McMahan

Gabriela Bradt
University of New Hampshire

The European green crab (Carcinus maenas) is an invasive species that was first detected in New England in the early 1800s. European green crabs are contributing to the decline of wild and farmed populations of bivalves (e.g. soft-shell clams, quahogs, oysters). This invasive species preys upon, competes with, and destroys eelgrass and salt marsh nursery habitat of bivalves and other marine species. With increasing ocean temperatures in the Gulf of Maine, green crabs are becoming more abundant. Since there is not an existing market for green crab products, researchers are investigating the feasibility of using green crab to produce fermented fish sauce and surimi, a fish paste commonly used as a crab substitute.

This project aims to use consumer data to develop a prototype fermented fish sauce recipe and determine the feasibility of the production of green crab surimi, and to conduct market research to assess the promise of proposed products. The creation of a market for green crabs might help reduce the impact of this invasive species and create opportunities for commercial fisheries diversification.

Two-year project, 2020-2022
Sea Grant funds: $83,712