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Invasive green crab found in San Juan Island waters

European green crab. Wikimedia.

European green crab. Wikimedia.

SEATTLE (AP) — A team of volunteer monitors have found an invasive green crab in the waters of Westcott Bay on San Juan Island.

The confirmation marks the first time that this global invader has been found in Washington state’s inland waters.

The Washington Sea Grant’s crab team is a monitoring program to look for European green crab. It’s working with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to decide the next steps for limiting the spread of the green crab.

European green crab have been stowaways on ships bound for U.S. ports since the 1800s. In Maine, softshell clam harvests declined dramatically when the crab landed there.

Up until now, the green crab was only found on Pacific coastal estuaries.