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Researchers Study Use of Green Crab in Fish Feed

28 August 2012, at 1:00a.m.

ANALYSIS - The Prince Edward Island Government has invested in a new project that looks at how European green crabs can be used to create animal feed.

The project, led by Drs Sophie St-Hilaire, Jeff Davidson, Mary McNiven and Pedro Quijon, from the Atlantic Veterinary College, looks at how green crab, which is an alien invasive species in Prince Edward Island, can be used as a protein source in the aquaculture industry.

Dr St-Hilaire told TheFishSite that there is currently no significant market for the green crab to support a fishery and therefore green crab is abundant in the Maritime region, causing problems for commercial fisheries and ecosystems.

Green crab is high in protein and carotenoids, and is approved by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency as an animal feed ingredient. The use of green crabs would also help to take pressure off other fish used in feed as it would replace a small percentage of fishmeal used.

If the potential of green crab as a feed ingredient is successful, it may provide an incentive for establishing an experimental fishery to control its presence in coastal ecosystems, and at the same time improve the sustainability of aquaculture, said Dr St-Hilaire.

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