Letter to the Editor from the Hermit Crab Association and its Members

March 11, 2015

A_hermit_crab_emerges_from_its_shellThe Hermit Crab Association and its members are extremely saddened to hear of the planned promotional event for the opening day game of the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. The decision to keep hermit crabs should warrant the same amount of consideration as owning any other type of pet and we believe they should never be given away as prizes because of this. Hermit crabs require specialized care and when given the proper environment should live for decades in captivity – they are not in any way a short lived pet.

Lacking the proper care, these hermits crabs will not live for more than a few weeks or months, which will lead to heartache for the small children of hundreds of fans. The plastic terrarium they will be sent home in is only a temporary transport container, and the initial set-up costs of a proper enclosure with new items will generally start at $100 for anyone receiving one of these “free” hermit crabs. This will place a financial burden on the fans of the Blue Crabs, or on the local animal rescues that will be asked to take them in once the details of their needs are learned.

The Hermit Crab Association is an online international community of hermit crab enthusiasts and owners, and we are not opposed to the captive ownership of hermit crabs. However, we are concerned about the lack of proper information that is provided by pet shops, and from the distributors that import the crabs into the United States.

The fact is that millions of hermit crabs are collected from the wild every year, as there has only been a handful of people in the world who have been successful with breeding them in captivity. Smaller crabs are already 5 years old, and the biggest are well over 40 years old. Many do not make it through the collection process and the transport to stores, and others will succumb from the stress of adapting to life in captivity. Many more will die slow deaths in the following weeks and months in tiny plastic cages from a lack of basic care.

Their needs include an enclosure that is large enough for the crabs to move around comfortably while providing enough space for all of their requirements. They dig underground and stay there without surfacing for months at a time to molt, which is how they repair injuries and grow larger. This requires six or more inches of moist cocofiber or slica-based sand, based on the size of the hermit crab. They need to be provided with dechlorinated freshwater and marine grade saltwater deep that is enough to completely submerge. Their temperature requirements are higher than room temperature at 78-85 degrees, and because of having modified gills for breathing they require humidity that is constantly above 70%, or they will slowly suffocate. They are omnivorous scavengers and their diet consists of fruits, vegetables and plant matter, seafood, insects, meat and poultry. While they are a communal species and should always be kept with others of their kind, they do need to be provided enough individual space that they can retreat from disputes, and so they are not discovered and dug up by other crabs while vulnerable from molting.

We are very much hoping that the team will reconsider the giving away of living animals as thank you gifts at this event. There are many other options available, such as plastic figurines or plushies that can become a permanent reminder of what is sure to be an amazing opening game.

HCA: Hermit Crab Association



40 Responses to Letter to the Editor from the Hermit Crab Association and its Members

  1. Shocked on March 11, 2015 at 3:41 am

    As much as this sounds like a joke this letter is very well written and brings up many valid points. Changed my mind, I agree with it.

    • Anonymous on March 11, 2015 at 4:11 pm

      Its all true too. I kept two alive for 3 years. Then one ate the other and died.

  2. Breaking the law on March 11, 2015 at 4:04 am

    According to the 2010 Maryland Criminal Law Code, Title 10, Subtitle 6, Section 10-610b, this promotion is illegal. Beyond that, the idea of giving away free animals is immoral and will result in the brutal deaths of hundreds of hermit crabs due to the amount of care these animals need.If they do not cancel this event, please vote with your money and boycott their games and products. Thank you for your time.

    • Star Tropic on March 11, 2015 at 7:59 am

      And whatever shall we do without the hermit crab?!?!?!

    • Chris on March 11, 2015 at 10:47 am

      I will certainly boycott Blue Crabs team if this promotion os not cancelled!

      • bluetooth on March 11, 2015 at 12:30 pm

        Trust me, no one will notice. Lol

      • Anonymous on March 12, 2015 at 12:04 pm

        So now that they have cancelled the promo what are your intentions? Will you support or boycott? Had you ever attended a game prior to this or were you never really a supporter to begin with?

        • bluetooth on March 12, 2015 at 4:58 pm

          Well, since you asked, I have a 10 game plan (For 2) and attend about 6 games that are off plan. Its, inexpensive, free parking and 10 minutes from my house. It’s a greata deal. Will there be anything else?

          • Anonymous on March 14, 2015 at 5:15 pm

            The questioning was directed at Chris, not Bluetooth. See the arrows on the left side?

  3. The Mad Poster on March 11, 2015 at 7:38 am

    Hahahahhaha! Good one!
    Old Bay and a hot steam bath and you got yourselves a meal!

    • fred50 on March 12, 2015 at 3:40 pm

      Troll, Google the food value of the critter!

  4. Well.. on March 11, 2015 at 7:42 am

    I clicked on this expecting to get a chuckle out of it and I was surprised by how well written this letter was. I agree with them. Live animals should not be given out as thank you gifts. I also have no idea that hermit crab care was so extensive. I thought the plastic things they sell at the beach were more than enough. I really hope the Blue Crabs decide against this.

  5. Anonymous on March 11, 2015 at 8:39 am

    I have heard it all. I actually feel for the Blue Crabs marketing promoter who thought this was a good idea. Boy were they in for a surprise. A stink over hermit crabs? Really? Please direct all of this passion into something with more value.

    I wonder if these same people who are outraged about a damn hermit crab recycle, drive smart cars, use solar energy, and do not contribute to any type of air or water pollution. Those in my opinion are far bigger threats to the hermit crab population than the small percentage of people who will own a hermit crab. I would also like to know what their position is on livestock, poultry, the hunting and fishing industry as well as owners of fish tanks.

    • SMH on March 12, 2015 at 6:42 am

      You write “Please direct all of this passion into something with more value”… A life is a life. Who are you to judge who’s is more valuable.

      • bluetooth on March 15, 2015 at 9:07 am

        I agree 100% I think the life of a hermit crab has as much value as our current president!

  6. Wow on March 11, 2015 at 9:06 am

    They have an association for everything!

    • Anonymous on March 12, 2015 at 9:39 am

      The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention or what about The Association for Dressings & Sauces?

  7. Citizen2015 on March 11, 2015 at 9:25 am

    When was this Association formed? How about the hermit crabs that are sold in Ocean City every year? If you choose not to take a crab, you kindly say no thanks & continue on your way to watch the ballgame!

  8. J on March 11, 2015 at 9:53 am

    I bought a couple of hermit crabs “on a whim” several years ago…and then found out what they need to survive. Initial start up for hermit crab care is easily $100 and up. I’ve now had mine about 6 years and they’ve tripled in size. They are definitely not “giveaways” or “souvenir items.” You have to be ready to devote enough space for a 10-20 gallon tank.

  9. Bob Gray on March 11, 2015 at 10:05 am

    Annotated Code of Maryland/Criminal Law/Title 10-610b2: Prohibited. –WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, a person may not give away a live animal as an inducement to enter a place of amusement….

  10. Kenny Chezz on March 11, 2015 at 10:43 am

    I have a dream………..I HAVE A DREAM….That one day, my life would be so care free, that I can set time out of my day and write a letter that no one is going to take serious about hermit crabs…..I have a dream, that one day, nothing in this world would become more important to the greater society than preventing the SOMD Blue Crabs from handing out hermit crabs at their opening game. I have a dream….oh honey I have a dream…..that even though we have ISIS, North Korea, Poverty, Racial Disputes, Missing Airlines, Failing Students, Horrible Economy, and the list goes on, we still have people who aren’t strong enough vocally and financially to protect real animals, not confident enough to throw blood on fur wearing upper class, (in this case I guess it would be brine shrimp!!) that we have stooped so low as to interrupt the SOMD Blue Crabs fun and exciting plan of making a few youngsters opening day even better. Get a hobby, life, spouse, SOMETHING TO KEEP YOU OCCUPIED!!!! Get a darn yo-yo for pete sakes!!!

    • Edis on March 16, 2015 at 4:52 pm

      All animals are living things, as such they should be treated with the respect that they deserve. You better hope reincarnation is not real, if it were, I truly hope you come back as a hermit crab, get plucked off of a beach in Jamaica, shipped across the sea, brought to a vendor in Maryland, tossed into a cage, and given away to a snot noised child at a baseball game, and not even a major league game. All while suffocating from the lack of humidity and freezing due to the lack of heat.

  11. Feed up w/county on March 11, 2015 at 10:51 am


  12. concerned on March 11, 2015 at 11:20 am

    Agree! This letter says it very well. And seriously, how many people want to come to a ball game and receive a pet crab?

  13. Crabs for LIFE on March 11, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    Actually all the points brought up in the letter are backed by scientific research done by individual and groups of hermit crab enthusiasts(like most research involving exotic pets). My hermit crab setup alone cost about 250-300 bucks after everything involved, proper substrate, humidifiers, heaters, full spectrum bulbs, timers, temperature and humidity sensors. Ive had one hermit crab in there for about 4 years, the rest of them (somewhere between 2 and 7, they will be underground for months while they molt so its hard to keep a count, they also have a tendency to change colors and shells while molting making identification beyond species difficult) are recent additions and rescues. Wanna hear something sick, you know how they get hermit crabs into painted shells? They take a bunch of hermit crabs and secure their shells to a grate and surround them with painted shells. They then take a low flame and place it underneath the grate forcing the hermit crabs to either burn of jump in a new shell and escape.

    • Anonymous on March 11, 2015 at 4:12 pm

      Hermit crab enthusiasts? That’s new to me. Lets make a t-shirt!

  14. Disappointed on March 11, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    I’m really saddened to see that upper management thought this was a great idea. This promotional give away does nothing but demonstrate a poorly put together marketing team who are lacking true business skills and experience. Clearly they’re the first to ever do it because it’s such a horrible idea. I sure hope they make the wise decision to come up with a better game opener promotion. This has certainly added to my reasons for favoring local baseball games at the Bowie Baysox.

    • Anonymous on March 12, 2015 at 12:09 pm

      Let’s be honest…you have not attended, nor were not planning to attend, any of their events anyway. Same goes for the Baysox.

  15. You don't deserve pets on March 11, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    If you’re sitting around laughing about this, you’re laughing about animal abuse. You’re literally making fun of people for caring whether animals live or die. I’m talking to you, “Kenny Chezz”. I hope you don’t own pets, because if you see trying to save animals as a waste of time, you’re not fit to be anywhere near them.
    And nice job with the lazy, inappropriate adaptation of MLK’s speech. Is that “worthy” enough for you? Caring about idiots like you on the Internet spouting garbage like that, disrespecting the memory of a great civil rights leader? “Get a hobby” keeping hermit crabs IS our hobby. How about you get some brain cells.

    • anonymous on March 15, 2015 at 3:41 am

      LOL animal abuse. Its a little crab! Bunch of pansies.

      • Edis on March 16, 2015 at 4:50 pm

        All animals are living things, as such they should be treated with the respect that they deserve. You better hope reincarnation is not real, if it were, I truly hope you come back as a hermit crab, get plucked off of a beach in Jamaica, shipped across the sea, brought to a vendor in Maryland, tossed into a cage, and given away to a snot noised child at a baseball game, and not even a major league game. All while suffocating from the lack of humidity and freezing due to the lack of heat.

  16. Ltowntaxpayer on March 11, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    I wonder if they will actually be able to give them all away. How many will be accepted by a child and then “forgotten” by a parent when it is time to leave? Just seems a bit out there for the team.

  17. JON B HAPY on March 11, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    I’m planning on going to the game, just for the sake of getting free hermit crabs. Love those things!

  18. Anonymous on March 11, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    Who cares? Really? WHO CARES!! There are millions of these things sold at beaches across America. What about Gold fish? Where are their activists? How about worms? Blood worms, Night Crawlers, CRICKETS!!! For the love of PETA people get a life. Let’s just all for once stand up together in solidarity and shout from the TOP of BLUE CRAB STADIUM…”WHO GIVES A ?$%&*!!!”

    • Anonymous on March 11, 2015 at 2:50 pm


      • anonymous on March 15, 2015 at 3:45 am

        LMAO some people have absoloutely no life

    • Anonymous on March 11, 2015 at 4:14 pm

      LOL. I’m going with this guy!

  19. Successful on March 11, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    Typical Southern Maryland attitudes on display here. No wonder your communities are in shambles.

    “Once upon a time, there was a wise man… as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer…

    He came closer still and called out “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”

    The young man paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean.”

    “I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?” asked the somewhat startled wise man.

    To this, the young man replied, “The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.”

    Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, “But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!”

    At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said,
    “It made a difference for that one.”

    ― Loren Eiseley

    • Me2 on March 12, 2015 at 11:00 am

      Stupid promotion no matter how you look at it.

      Fantastic share. Thank you.

      I’m sure the mindset of most won’t change :( , but a great “clear” point was made. Abuse and neglect is wrong no matter what living thing.

  20. fred50 on March 11, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    Aw the tread responses I am use to and expect from a sick society. You good people who support the crab, go over and read the thread for the give away announcement and feel support for your issue!