Most invasive species, alas, are not edible. For example, not even goats and sheep will eat the black swallow-wort that is trying to take over my property, a pernicious tangling vine that I’ve been fighting for 20 years.
But green crabs – an ecosystem-destroying invader that has moved up the coast into New Hampshire and Maine waters – are tasty, so it makes a lot of sense that UNH Cooperative Extension is pushing a program to add them to local menus. If we can harness human greed, maybe we can actually defeat this invader.
Seacoast online has a good story about the push (read it here):
The challenge to getting them when their shells are soft enough to open, for their sparse amount of meat, Bradt said, is there’s only a one-day window when they’re molting before the shells turn hard again. To make things more challenging, scientists have just a 25 percent success rate for predicting when green crabs will molt, other than knowing males molt in late spring and females in the early fall.
Last week Louis had a green crab stew with tomato and cauliflower on his menu and his crab supplier is coming Thursday with more crabs. He’s made a green crab Newburg sauce he served with pollock and hake croquettes. A rabbit dish with green crab sauce recently “flew out the door,” he said.
UNH and the NH Sea Grant program have a citizen science component, getting volunteers to collect crabs and add to the database about their habits and lives.