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Common Rock Crab Spreads Quickly Across Icelandic Shores

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Common Rock Crab Spreads Quickly Across Icelandic Shores

The Common Rock Crab

Photo: Janet MacCausland/Wikipedia

The Common Rock Crab has begun to grow rapidly in number around Icelandic shores. It was first seen in Hvalfjörður, West Iceland, in the year 2006. This summer, it has reached Eyjafjörður in North Iceland.

This particular crab species can be quite a pest to others at Iceland‘s ocean floor. Its origins can be traced to the United States‘ eastern shore. There it has natural enemies, while it has little to none in Iceland, giving it a chance to thrive so well. It is the American Lobster‘s main source of food.

Sindri Gíslason, at the Southwest Iceland Nature Research Center, oversees research on the crab‘s settlement at Iceland. According to Sindri, the crab is an exotic creature and needs to be studied carefully.

„It‘s been found in great numbers at Breiðafjörður. At the same time scallops, an exploitable marine stock has had rough years. So it‘ll be interesting to see how the spread and increase in Common Rock Crabs will affect the scallop‘s rough time.“

Species like the Common Rock Crab have managed to spread across the world by attaching themselves to ships. „It‘s believed that roughly three to ten thousand species are transported every day across areas in this manner, which is a large number in this context,“

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