03 July 2014
Marine Resources officers at the Department of the Environment have assured people there is no need for concern about the number of spider crab shells that have washed up on the beach in Grouville.
Officers have received a number of calls from members of the public. They visited the site yesterday and found that it's just the moulted empty shells, known as the exoskeleton, that have washed up.
Spider crabs grow by moulting - shedding their shells - and it's a normal part of their life cycle. When the crabs moult, they exit through the back of their shell, leaving behind the whole exoskeleton including the legs and eye stalks, which can look just like an intact crab.
Marine Resources officers have explained to callers that spider crabs migrate inshore at this time of year to moult and reproduce. This cycle is closely linked with temperature, among other factors, and the recent spell of good weather may have prompted a large number of crabs to shed their shells at the same time.
You will find a picture on the States Facebook page, States of Jersey.
States of Jersey Facebook page