On Sunday June 13th, Mike Pinkham–the Gouldsboro shellfish warden–a group of harvesters, and I went out to the mudflats to do some conservation work. This week’s activity was collecting and removing green crabs from a local clamming area, John Small Cove. This activity was part of the harvester’s required conservation time, and I went along to see what some of this work entails and to get to know the local community a little better. In order to be eligible for a clamming license in Gouldsboro, harvesters are required to do at least 10 hours of conservation work. Some of this is done in co-management meetings, such as attending the shellfish committee meetings, but much of it is done out on the flats in events like these. Other activities include (list of activities).
It was a beautiful morning with the morning sun glistening on the ocean and lighting up the surrounding woods. The flat was thick with clam’s siphon holes, which is good news for that flat. We found over 100 green crabs within the hour and a half that we were there, but Mike and the harvesters were disappointed that we hadn’t been able to find more. Throughout the morning they were wondering why the density was “so low” in the cove. This really drove home for me how numerous these crabs really are in this area. On some beaches, it is challenging to lift a rock or move a handful of rockweed without finding a crab.
Shellfish Resilience Intern, Schoodic Institute