There’s safety in numbers when it comes to the annual migration of Spider Crabs (Macrocheira Kaempferi) who come from deeper water to moult.
The old shell is cast off giving the appearance of thousands of dead crabs. They are at times 3-4 deep and cover many square meters of the ocean floor, when in shallow water the view from the surface and the air can appear as a slow moving reef.
I’ve been lucky enough to witness this natural phenomenon at Rye Pier on several occasions and captured the image displayed back in 2012 after a few failed attempts but with careful planning, a bit of luck it all came together on this occasion, it also helps to have local knowledge on my side.
The migration coincides with the full moon from late May to early June, when moulting is at its peak. When moulting is over, the crabs head back to deeper waters until next year. Liam