CHINA TOPIX

Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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Chinese 'Hairy Crab' Poses Threat to Scottish Fish, Conservationists Say

Chinese Mitten Crab

(Photo : animalcrossing.wikia.com)

The invasion of Chinese mitten crab in Scotland poses a serious threat to the salmon and trout fishing rivers, experts said.

Last June, the remains of a Chinese Mitten Crab, also known as "hairy crab", was found in Glasgow’s River Clyde. The Clyde River Foundation's discovery of a single specimen is the first evidence that the invasive species has finally reached the Scottish border.

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Clyde River Foundation catchment manager Willie Yeomans told the media that the discovery of the foreign species poses a potentially significant ecological threat to the Clyde system.

Researchers from Royal Holloway, University of London and the Natural History Museum expressed concern about the enormous environmental risk of the invasive crab species in the area.

"The occurrence of these hairy crabs could have a devastating impact in a Scottish river,” said Dr. David Morritt of the School of Biological Sciences at Royal Holloway.

The Natural History Museum Research said the hairy crabs will eat fish eggs if they spread to areas where trout and salmon commonly appear.

The hairy crabs could also cause erosion by damaging riverbanks and impact infrastructure such as dykes when they burrow into them, researchers said.

According to some reports, the crabs, Eriocheir sinensis, have already spread across populated rivers in the United Kingdom, including Thames and Tyne.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature branded the Chinese hairy crab, named after the furry mats covering their claws, as one of the 100 worst alien species in the world.

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