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Two children caught a surprise this afternoon while crabbing in the Indian River Bay. Tyler Ormord, 6, and Myles Boerlin, 10, thought they had caught a mitten crab, an invasive species native to China that has been found recently in the Delaware and Chesapeake Bays. Instead, it turns out the boys reeled in a European green crab, another invasive species. Green crabs have been found in Delaware before and are often sold live as bait for fishing, according to Carin Ferrante, Mitten Crab Coordinator for the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, who identified the crab.

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Green crabs are a predator that feed commonly on clams, oysters and mussels and are believed by some to have had a significant impact on the West Coast’s shell fish industry, though are “probably not the primary culprit in the scallop decline,” according to Michael Fincham of Maryland Sea Grant.

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