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138K green crabs pulled from Washington waters ... so far in 2022

green crabs
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Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife

So far this year, Washington's Department of Fish and Wildlife says more than 138,000 European green crabs have been removed from Washington waters. It's a considerable increase in green crabs captured locally than previously reported this year.

A total of 85,000 were captured near Bellingham last year.

According to WDFW's recent update, a number of agencies, tribes, and other groups are still working to limit their numbers in places like Lummi Bay, Willipa Bay, and Grays Harbor.

The green crabs first showed up around Washington state in 1998 and have slowly been advancing into Puget Sound. It's one of the most successful invasive species in North America. Gov. Jay Inslee has declared a state of emergency over their spread. They threaten local varieties of crabs and habitats, many of which are relied upon by local fisheries and restaurant menus.

Some solutions to the green crab invasion have been proposed, such as eating them. An East Coast distillery has even used green crabs to make whiskey. No solutions large enough to meet the threat have yet been found aside from pulling them out of the water as fast as possible.

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