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Grab a crab for La Societe’s coastal survey

Education Conservation Assistant Sarah Allez at Lihou. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 30063608)
Education Conservation Assistant Sarah Allez at Lihou. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 30063608)

Education and conservation leader Becky Ogier said surveys of Guernsey’s coastline are important because they provide an information data base to understand changes over time.

‘Crabs are a really good marker of the coastal environment, and we want to monitor the health of the population. We want to know whether or not they are diseased, mark any invasive species we see, and record other relevant data,’ she said.

Crab surveying raises awareness of population changes of native and non-native crabs and allows conservationists to assess the population dynamics in Guernsey.

According to La Societe, crab surveys also allow researchers to monitor human impact on marine life. 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 indicate how oceans are changing and the impacts of these threats.

During the survey, the crustaceans were put in temporary shallow tubs while volunteers recorded the size, species and gender, then they were released back to their tide pools.

The recorded data will be sent off to the Guernsey Biological Records Centre for processing.

‘We want to encourage companies, schools and youth groups to get involved with us and volunteer to help us on surveys,’ said Ms Ogier.

‘Companies can use their corporate social responsibility hours to help us collect this important data about the environment.’

Ms Ogier said the Guernsey coastline was an absolutely fascinating place and an incredible educational resource.

‘Even people who don’t like crabs that come along on corporate social responsibility surveys always end up taking an interest by the end of the day,’ she said.

‘And of course, all children enjoy rock pooling and exploring.’

Ms Ogier encouraged anyone interested in volunteering to reach out for more information.

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