Asian paddle crabs pose threat

Harvey-Waroona Reporter

The Department of Fisheries has called for anglers to report the sighting of any foreign aquatic species to keep the State’s waterways pest free.

Four Asian paddle crabs were found in the Swan River between 2012 and 2014, while one was also caught in the Mandurah area in 2010.

Asian paddle crabs are considered a biosecurity risk because the species is known to carry a crustacean virus that can harm native prawns, crabs and crayfish.

Department of Fisheries biosecurity senior management officer Marion Massam said it was important to ensure WA’s waterways remained free from such threats.

“During summer we know lots of fishers get out on the Swan and Canning rivers to go crabbing and we want them to keep reporting any sightings of the Asian paddle crab,” Ms Massam said.

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“The Asian paddle crab is not established in the wild anywhere in Australia and, by crab fishers continuing to keep a look out, those fishers can help prevent it becoming a marine pest here in WA.”

Crabbers are urged to keep any suspect species, take photos and call the FishWatch 24-hour reporting line on 1800 815 507.

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