Mitten crabs threaten blue crabs

July 23, 2009 8:21:16 AM PDT
Researchers at the University of Delaware are studying the impact an Asian crab could have on the native blue crab.

Charles Epifanio, interim director of the University of Delaware's School of Marine Science and Policy, says the concern is that mitten crabs may prove to be a competitor for the native blue crabs.

The mitten crab is named for the fur-like growths on its claws that give the appearance of wearing dark-colored mittens. The Chinese crabs were found several years ago in the Mid-Atlantic, and are believed to have been brought here in the ballast water of ships.