A sign of rain ahead?

Tuna crabs indicate a forthcoming El Niño event

One of hundreds of tuna crabs that have washed ashore Fiesta Island.
  • One of hundreds of tuna crabs that have washed ashore Fiesta Island.

Walking with my dogs at Fiesta Island yesterday, I found what at first glance looked like a toy rubber lobster. Until he or she moved! As I continued walking down the shore, I discovered more of these little guys and gals. They were everywhere along the shore, along with copious amounts of seaweed. I ran across a couple girls walking down the beach and they told me that they are all the way up and down the beach at least a mile up. Most of them were alive except for the carcasses the seagulls feasted on.

Tuna Crabs at Fiesta Island

After sharing this with a neighbor that loves to go diving, he told me that they are actually tuna crabs that show up en masse every few years. The last big years were 1988 and 2002, he believes. He has been seeing them all over — under and above the water. Sharks, whales, tuna, and yellowtail amberjack have been seen following them to shallow waters. This is also evidence of a major El Niño event coming this summer. Summer rain anyone?

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