Angry Canadian Crabs Are Threatening Fragile US Ecosystems

Green crabs are an unwanted invasive species that may destroy the environment and the economy.

People from Canada are known for their friendliness and their propensity to say sorry for almost anything. However, Canadian wildlife does not share the same kind of disposition as the human residents of the country. Despite being part of the same species, Green Angry Canadian Crabs from Nova Scotia are more aggressive than their American counterparts.

The Crab Population

The green crab population has increased dramatically in some areas of Maine in the past few years, according to the Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR). They threaten one of the state’s main natural fisheries because they consume shellfish like blue mussels and soft-shell clams. Those resources could be in even more danger in the coming years because of a more aggressive breed of green Angry Canadian Crabs now showing up in the state’s waters.

“The ones that are coming in now are even more destructive,” says Markus Frederich, Ph.D., professor of Marine Sciences. “So, if we think we have a green crab problem now, in a few years it will be way more pronounced.” 

“What we’re seeing is this insane level of aggressiveness,” Frederich told the Associated Press. The crabs are coming into Maine from Nova Scotia, Canada. “They are the most aggressive crabs ever seen. We don’t understand yet why they are so aggressive,” Frederich says.

The crabs are wiping out other shellfish species, grass beds, and other vulnerable parts of the ecosystem. Until a more scientific solution is found there’s only one thing you can do to stop them.

The Impact of the “Angry Canadian Crabs”

North America lacks any native green crabs. Somewhere in the 1800s, they migrated from Europe through ship ballast water. They have expanded along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts through the Panama Canal. Additionally, they have infringed on the rights of other nations, including Australia, South Africa, and Japan.

Green crabs are an unwanted invasive species that may destroy the environment and the economy. They face competition for food and habitat from local crabs and other creatures. They feed on bivalves, crucial for water filtering and coastal protection, such as clams, oysters, and mussels. Additionally, they harm eelgrass beds, which serve as a haven and breeding ground for various fish and invertebrates.

Climate change also has an impact on green crabs. They may widen their range and boost their chances of reproduction and survival when the ocean’s temperature increases. More invasions and outbreaks of green crabs in new regions may result.

Once they take hold in a region, green crabs are difficult to manage and remove. To avoid or reduce its effects, prevention, and early identification are thus essential. Trapping, fencing, biological control, chemical control, and public outreach are potential management techniques.

Eat as Many as Possible.

As it turns out, the green crabs have a sweet ocean taste to them, and they make a good soup or chowder. Watch this episode of The Green Way Outdoors for some crab inspiration!

Watch Low Country Crab Crack & Shrimp Boil on Nuts & Bolts of Fishing S4 | C15



Fisheries, Noaa. “Look Out for Invasive Crab!” NOAA, Accessed 12 July 2023.

“Markus Frederich’s Research on Green Crabs Featured in the ‘New York Times.’” University of New England, 25 Sept. 2018,

Ciaccia, Chris. “Angry Mutant Green Crabs Are Destroying Everything in Their Path.” Fox News, 20 Sept. 2018,


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