• Outdoors Outdoors

Experts urge people to fish and eat crab species putting entire fishing industry at risk: 'An animal of unacceptable intelligence'

"We fight this blue crab, but he is stronger than us because there are so many of them."

"We fight this blue crab, but he is stronger than us because there are so many of them."

Photo Credit: iStock

Invasive species can wreak havoc on an ecosystem. But in Italy, NBC New York reported that fishermen, lobbying groups, and environmentalists have agreed on a delicious solution to problems posed by the invasive blue crab: eat 'em up.

Blue crabs are native to the coasts of North and South America, but in recent years, they have made their way across the Atlantic and spread throughout several lagoon-like locations in Italy, as the Guardian reported. 

As the crabs are predatory, reproduce quickly, and have no predators in the region, they have decimated populations of eels, clams, and mussels, threatening Italy's fishing industry and economy as a whole.

One Italian fisherman described the blue crab like a villain from a science-fiction movie, saying: "He is aggressive; he is fast; he is an animal of unacceptable intelligence. We fight this blue crab, but he is stronger than us because there are so many of them."

As the Italian fishing industry is at a loss for how to stop the spread of the invasive species, it has now turned to a different tactic: integrating blue crab into more Italian foods.

Farm lobby group Coldiretti has held a series of events to introduce blue crab to the Italian palate. And considering that so much Italian fare includes seafood, it isn't too much of a stretch.

At one recent event, the menu included rosemary crab salad, crab Venetian-style (with onion and vinegar), and pasta with garlic-tossed crab. Rarely has a solution to an invasive species sounded so delicious.

This is not the first time people have sought to control invasive species by eating them. One chef in Maine recently detailed how he uses green crabs, which are invasive to the American Northeast, in his cuisine. And the Hmong people have been turning invasive species into tasty dishes for generations.

At La Peschereccia, a fishermen's cooperative on the Tuscan coast, chefs grill the blue crabs or toss them in linguine with tomatoes, onions, basil, and chili pepper sauce, which are favorites among locals, per NBC

"It's very popular with people and runs out in the first half hour," chef David Sergio from La Peschereccia said.

Join our free newsletter for cool news and cool tips that make it easy to help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider