Tam's Tall Tales

- Chinese Crab to Take Away Scottish Fish?

Chinese Mitten Crab via Wikimedia

Threat To Salmon and Trout Fishing
Scientists are worried that the Chinese Mitten Crab, - also known as "hairy crab", could infect Scotland's rivers and devastate fishing. The crabs eat fish eggs and its burrowing nature damages embankments and clogs drainage systems. The Mitten is classed as one of the world's 100 top alien species.

In 2014 one crab was found in the Clyde in June. Thr crab's body is the size of a human palm. The crabs have also been known to take up residence in swimming pools and in some places the crabs have been found hundreds of miles from the sea. Chinese mitten crabs have also invaded German waters, where they destroy fishing nets, hurt native fish species and damage local dams, causing damage of up to 80 million Euros.

Dr David Morritt, from the School of Biological Sciences at Royal Holloway, University of London, said: "The occurrence of these Chinese mitten crabs in a Scottish river could have a devastating impact on the famous salmon and trout fishing rivers should they manage to reach parts of the catchments where these fish spawn."

Chinese mitten crabs are named after the furry mats covering their claws. They spend most of their life in freshwater but return to salt water to breed and also travel well on land.

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Tam O'Ranter
May 2014

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