September 24, 2023

Irony: Freeport, Maine Fights Predator (green crab) Invasion

Hat tip to reader “Bonedog”!

Will this irony also become hypocrisy?

From the Portland Press Herald, we find an article stating the woes of the Maine coastal town of Freeport, creating a plan to control a predator, the green crab, from decimating the town’s shellfish population.

There’s an army of green crabs hunkered down in the channels of the Harraseeket River and Recompence Cove, and every night they skitter up onto the mud flats to feast on whatever shellfish they can find.

They’ve munched their way through most of the wild mussels, scallops and snails along the town’s 27-mile coast, and now they’re working on wiping out one of Maine’s prime soft-shell clam populations.

To combat this small but destructive creature, the Freeport Shellfish Commission is launching the first municipal shellfish conservation program in Maine. Its goal is to reduce predators, protect and enhance existing shellfish beds and diversify the bivalve species growing in nearly 180 acres of mud flats, more than half of which are currently unproductive.

Surely any reader could substitute “green crabs” for say, coyotes, and the stories are just about identical. Will there be outrage and opposition from environmentalists and animal rights groups because the Town of Freeport feels the need to control (kill) predators to save they shellfish industry?

Just yesterday, Governor Paul LePage signed an appropriations bill, LD372, that would earmark $100,000 to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to kill predators, mainly coyotes, that are destroying the deer hunting industry. From the very beginning, and is still ongoing, coyote lovers, environmentalists and animal rights organizations, are putting up a stink in opposition to the killing of any predators. They are predator preservationists……well, at least when it comes to hunting and trapping them.

So, will there be the same outrage from the same groups of people over Freeport killing green crabs? The article says the crabs will be trapped and hauled to the landfill and composted. One would think that these environmentalists would be outraged, first at needlessly killing a living creature, a predator, and secondly wasting it by tossing it in the landfill.

Don’t get me wrong. I take no issue with Freeport killing predators to save their shellfish industry. I’m playing a bit of devil’s advocate here. But surely, cannot we see the hypocrisy?

Certainly there is no difference between the needs of the Town of Freeport to kill predators and the State of Maine needing to kill predators. So why then do the coyotes get the attention of the environmentalists and the green crabs don’t? (at least to this point in time). Do coyotes have more rights than green crabs?

Tom Remington