Blue crab with transmitter
Photo: NEMA

Invasive Atlantic blue crab now found in Alcantarilha stream

The invasive Atlantic blue crab species has been detected for the first time in the Ribeira de Alcantarilha stream in Silves.

Reports local newspaper Terra Ruiva, two specimens have been found, which “confirm its existence” in the stream. So far, there had only been unconfirmed sightings.

The news has been confirmed by NEMA (New Marine Species in Algarve), which brings together researchers from the University of Algarve and the Centre of Sea Sciences (CCMar) who are carrying out an innovative study in Europe by using transmitters to monitor them.

The study, which is financially backed by the crossborder project ATLAZUL, started in May and saw researchers equipping the crabs with small transmitters. The goal is to learn where these crabs live and how long they remain in these habitats in order to propose measures to control the population of this invasive species.

Researchers are calling on anyone who finds a blue crab to report it on NEMA’s website (

The Atlantic blue crab is native to the waters of the western Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico where it is considered a culinary delicacy.