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Sunday 3 December 2023 Dublin: 1°C
crab watch

Volunteers wanted to help spot crabs on Irish coasts

What you spot will be recorded as part of an EU-wide programme Sea Change.

shutterstock_621988169 Mikulas P via Shutterstock Mikulas P via Shutterstock

THE EUROPEAN UNION’S Crab Watch programme is asking for volunteers to help record different species of crabs along their coastline.

Crab Watch, which launched on 28 June, invites European citizens to play a key role in the scientific process by gathering valuable data to enhance our knowledge of the changing distribution of native and non-native crabs.

By establishing a network of Crab Watchers to record and report on the crabs they see, it is hoped that new arrivals will be detected early and appropriate environmental management action can then be taken quickly.

Crab Watch is an initiative of the EU-funded Sea Change project which aims to increase European citizens’ understanding of the ocean’s influence on us and our influence on the ocean.

By getting people to become Crab Watchers, visit their coastline and interact with marine creatures in a meaningful way, Sea Change hopes to encourage people to think positively about the ocean and how to maintain it.

Hannah Milburn from the Marine Biological Association, coordinators of Crab Watch and Sea Change, said that crabs are interesting creatures to search for when you’re by the coast.

You can find them in all marine and some freshwater habitats around Europe, and they have great commercial and cultural significance in many countries.
However, crabs are easily impacted by human activities, including warming seas, the introduction of invasive species and overexploitation.

“This makes them an ideal subject to help demonstrate how our ocean is changing and what the impacts are.”

  • If you’re interested, you can find out how to become a Crab Watcher on the Sea Change website.

The Sea Change project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and began in March 2015.

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