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Hi all--

Although we are most concerned with invasives in our fresh waters, we have problems in the ocean, too.
Over the week-end the Chronicle-Herald had an interesting piece on the "Green Crab". This guy is an invasive that is destroying our shellfish. What I found interesting is that an entrepreneurial South Shore fisherman found a market for these pests, as lobster bait. Apparently they work beautifully. So DFO arrested him for fishing green crab without a license. Except that there is no such thing as a license for green crab. But the judge fined him $1.00, anyway. How to go, DFO. Duh!!!
See-

http://thechronicleherald.ca/NovaScotia/1210632.html

Here we have a chance at the best of both worlds-ridding, or at least depleting, the ranks of a destructive invader by making it profitable to catch them and sell them, and replacing other valuable
species as lobster bait. Or fish farm food, or whatever. I am thinking primarily of saving gaspareau and shad from bait suppliers. Gaspareau are a vital forage fish in our fresh waters, and shad could bring millions of dollars in sport fish revenue if they, and their 'by-catch', the striped bass, were left strictly alone by commercial interests.

I don't know if there are enough invasive crabs and such to supply enough bait for the lobster fishery altogether, but it would be a good start, IMHO.

cheers,

chuck
 

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I agree they definitely should try to develop a lobster bait fishery for Green Crab. You'd never get rid of them all but it would definitely help in controlling their numbers.I believe Green Crab could potentially supply much of the lobster bait fishery, i don't know whether it could meet it all or not but from what i hear they are pretty abundant. They have even expanded as far north as Newfoundland. It would also as you mentioned save gaspereau and shad from bait suppliers, not to mention some of the shellfish and other marine organisms that these crabs are eating. On a side note the global invasive Species database names the Green Crab as one of the top 100 worst invaders in the world.

http://www.issg.org/database/species/search.asp?st=100ss

Green Crab is number 18.
 

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now boys that would make too much sense to use these as bait and leave other things alone, seriously what are you thinking? oh yeah you are thinking and the gov doesn't do much of that so that is probably why they don't understand the reasoning
 

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Interesting discussion. I did a lot of work on Green crabs as part of my honours degree (had a scientific permit from DFO for trapping them) and lets just say that there are plenty of green crabs. They are abundant throughout Nova Scotia. In the Gulf of St Lawrence they live mostly in estuaries but will occupy the intertidal zone as well. I did a lot of trapping for them in the Gulf of St Lawrence and with an eel style trap I've been able to trap upwards of 300 crabs of all shapes and sizes in only a few hours. If you just pick up a handful of gravel you will find dozens of of tiny little greencrabs...they are everywhere in the Gulf estuaries. I've also had similar trapping success in the Canso area. We did a mark recapture estimate in Antigonish Harbour and a conservative population estimate for adults was over a million. Anyways, long story short..they could easily supply all the bait lobster fishermen would ever need. Whether lobster fishermen would change the type of bait they use remains to be seen but regardless its worth exploring.
 

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now boys that would make too much sense to use these as bait and leave other things alone, seriously what are you thinking? oh yeah you are thinking and the gov doesn't do much of that so that is probably why they don't understand the reasoning
rofl,well said girlfisher. seriously though i've been around these crabs all my life and never knew they were an evasive , much less ''protected'', so do speak. i'm 37 , so they must have been here a long time, how could there be no regs. on them like the bass and pickerel?these species became regulated very quickly, why not the ''rock crab'' ,as i knew them as? p.s.-did you check out #38 on that list, the deadliest invasive of all imo.
 

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All we need is for one fisherman to start making money off of green crabs as bait or whatever else and there will be more license applicants than you could shake a stick at. Dfo should allow a test fishery. Someone call an MP or even an MLA. Politicians would jump all over this.
 

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BRAVO, RUSSELL NICKERSON!!! Here we have a classic case of a creative, enterpreneurial fisherman being penalized by a bloated, bureaucratic system (DFO) for doing exactly what they should have done and continued to do for years. If I remember correctly, it may well have been DFO who first reported the damage which would/could be done by the invasion of the green crab to our waters. Instead of the weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth(and sitting on their hands??) exhibited by our federal department, Mr Nickerson, in true innovative, maritime fashion, rolled up his sleeves,invested his own time, money and energy and turned the lemons which we were being given into lemonade. He was given no help, aid or assistance (to my knowledge)by the very agency who ought to have been defending against, and fighting the "invasion". Despite requesting a license for what he was doing to benefit himself and the commercial fishermen of Nova Scotia, in true bureaucratic fashion he was refused his request. (By whom, and for what legitmate reason, I ask???) What small minded bureaucrat ordered the prosecution of our homegrown ecological warrior? Why would the federally appointed prosecutor, (read Josh BRYSON) not have the courage and foresight to stand up to his political masters and say "Don't do this guys. You ought to be giving Mr Nickerson a medal (and a license) and not embarassing yourselves, myself and your Department." (The prosecutor could have refused to prosecute the matter but obviously did not for whatever reason.) Mr Nickerson,(not a trained legal mind) obviously had no problem explaining to the judge the silliness of DFO's position as evidenced by the "Technical violation" fine imposed of one dollar. This whole debacle smacks of departmental animus and, dare I be so impudent to say it, stupidity at the highest level. Fortunately, we still have some judges (read Jim BURRELL)with both the courage and common sense to identify what I like to call "Bureaucratic Bitchiness", abuse of power,and treat it as such. Mr Nickerson, I believe, ought to be rewarded for his creativity. Give him the only license granted for Green Crab for a period of 5 years. This would then be an incentive (thinking outside of the box)for private citizens to work to resolve some of the problems which have beset our fishery over the years and have not yet been resolved by the scientists. Come on DFO, stand up, admit you were wrong, take it on the chin and apologise. Is it your collective,departmental ego that is bruised because he has seemingly mitigated a problem that your bureaucracy could not?? Next thing, do the right thing by Mr Nickerson and grant him an exclusive license before you open it up to the Clearwaters of the world. It remains to be seen whether the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and Josh BRYSON choose to continue, and compound, the silliness by wasting OUR public funds in launching an appeal of the token fine imposed.......... For no other reason than, -- they can!!! Regards........
 
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BRAVO, RUSSELL NICKERSON!!! Here we have a classic case of a creative, enterpreneurial fisherman being penalized by a bloated, bureaucratic system (DFO) for doing exactly what they should have done and continued to do for years.

....no problem explaining to the judge the silliness of DFO's position as evidenced by the "Technical violation" fine imposed of one dollar. This whole debacle smacks of departmental animus and, dare I be so impudent to say it, stupidity at the highest level. Fortunately, we still have some judges (read Jim BURRELL)with both the courage and common sense to identify what I like to call "Bureaucratic Bitchiness", abuse of power,and treat it as such
Couldn't have said it better myself, SM! The one dollar fine is the classic example of a judge "flipping off" the prosecutor and all the other underlings silly enough to bring the matter to trial.

Paul
 

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bugman; Everything which was done by DFO was strange and appears to have lacked rationale!! The only sensible player in this drama appears to have been Russell Nickerson. You are making an assumption that what was done by DFO was done because of reasonable and rational administrative behaviour by a cadre of those persons who epitomize the term "civil servants"charged with protecting our waters. Had this been the case, I am sure that the prosecutor would have made much of it and a fine of at least the minimum as proscribed would have been imposed. As it is, the judge has publicly spanked DFO for their arrogance and stupidity in wasting his time. I stand by my assesment of the reasons for this persecution as being "Bureaucratic Bitchiness" and arrogance. I suspect that the judge has a very good "BS Detector" which, during the trial was turned to the "on" position. Regards....
 
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It seems strange that DFO would issue a licence as a by catch and then choose to rescind it without some rational behind the decision. The statement that he had to stop seems to have more meaning than what was presented.

The article has very little fact on which to base an opinion.

Are the crabs are alive or dead when they were used as lobster bait ?

If they are alive is there a possibility of escape ?

Could the harvest and distribution of green crabs to lobster fishermen of Nova Scotia increase the rate of spread of this invasive species ?
bugman makes a good point not sure how long the crabs would live out of there environment however I don't think they would get out as most fishmen use bait bags which are then stuck on a spike inside the pot
 

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I am not familiar with any lobster fishing done by or with any kind of live bait. (Is anyone?) The scent of the dead herring, gaspareau or mackeral meat(whether fresh or not) is what attracts the lobster. I would think that when you kill and crack up a crab (which releases the scent)then put it in a bait bag which is then placed inside a trap, the same thing will happen. If live green crabs attracted lobster they would have been eaten when they arrived in our waters and the problem would not exist.
There are times when agencies such as DFO ought to be given our support and cut some slack. I do not believe that this is one of those times. In this example I believe that the actions of that bureaucracy smell as bad as a bait bag for a lobster pot. Those responsible for wasting Russell Nickerson's, as well as the court's time and our money ought to be identified and called to account for their silly shenanigans. It wouldn't surprise me to find that Mr Nickerson is an outspoken sort of chap who has, in the past pissed off an enforcement officer,(or someone) in the local office. It also wouldn't surprise me to find out that this is some sort of "payback" just to show him who's the boss. Something tells me that there is at least one bruised ego involved in this matter. I would like to see the response from the Minister of Fisheries if asked about this sort of behaviour from the floor of the House of Commons during Question Period!!! Regards....
 
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Are Green Crabs any good for human consumption? Perhaps if they are a season and other things in this area could be looked into too, unless there is already something in the books. I'm no expert on the Green Crab but i don't think DFO has to worry about spreading them into new areas in the maritimes because from what i hear they are present in large numbers along every coast. just what i heard though.
 

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as i stated before, i've been around these my whole life.as a child , they were what we swam for and caught.around the age of 10 we began to eat them.i don't see a market in eddible sales, simply because there's not much meat in them , and is quite time consuming to get to.thankfully we had a wealth of time at that age , and got a small amount of pride in eating our catch. according to this we were breaking the law i guess.
 

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I
Are the crabs are alive or dead when they were used as lobster bait ?
Hi Bugman
From my lobster fishing days of many years ago we often used the rock crabs for bait. Not green crabs which are much smaller.
We simply took them and drove them unto the bait spike through the middle.
Often would use up to 3 or 4 depending how many were in the trap.
They were alive when we got our hands on them but the chances of survival were low after a spike through their middle.
Worked good though - wasn't much left the next day.
Not a good night on traps
Paul
 

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Any chance any of those live ones could have made their way out through the scuppers?
Hi Bugman
We took the live ones out of the trap to start with.
Surplus we dumped over the side of the boat. If there were live ones on
the deck we swept them out the scuppers.
I understand they now process the rock crabs so I don't know current practice.
Have a good day
Paul
 
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