An English fisherman caught a rare sponge crab that looks like a biscuit. Got any gravy?
Recently, Fox News reported that locals have said Ian Jepson’s crab catch and nicknamed the animal a “sponge coated” crab.
But if you give it a good look, it comes across as a pastry, right?
Jepson said he saw the animal about six miles off the Cornwall coast. The animal looks similar to a furred sponge crab.
“We do get a few weird things now and again, and it is great to see. It certainly makes the day more enjoyable out here,” Jepson said to the Southwest News Service.
Jepson said he was delighted at the sight of the crab. When he caught it, he said he carefully returned the sponge to the crab’s back. The animal uses the sponge for camouflage.
Aquarium official Kate Buss said the sponge crab has two pairs of modified legs with pincers holding the sponge on their backs.
“They are quite adept at moving sponges over the whole of their body to enable them to hide,” Buss said.
The fisherman said he’d seen more of these types of crustaceans (five this summer). He likened it to a baked meat pastry.
“I’m not too sure if they are actually called sponge crabs, but we have always called them that,” Jepson said.
Crab Seen In Same Area
Locals discovered another sponge crab in the same area back in 2012.
The BBC said fisherman Gary Eglington caught this particular animal, who had its sponge stolen by another rival. Eglington donated the it to the Blue Reef Aquarium in Newquay. There, the staff nicknamed the crustacean “Bob.”
But “Bob” had less of a biscuit look to it.
In another 2009 BBC article, locals found another spongy animal in Hastings. It ended up at Blue Reef Aquarium, and staff nicknamed it “Bob,” as well.
Increase in Sponge Crabs?
Jepson said he didn’t know if this particular type of crab is increasing in sightings was due to global warming, but he was working to see how far they had spread out in his area of England.
Wales Online said Jepson has worked as a sustainable lobster and crabpot fisherman for the past 35 years.
The 2012 BBC article said sponge crabs were more common off western Africa, in the Indian Ocean, or in the Mediterranean. But in recent years, the crab has found its way to English shores.
Some folks are licking their chops to try the “biscuit.”
Can you eat it? Yes, but it comes with less meat than regular crabs. In Virginia, the crustacean is harvested, but not in Maryland.