Fourth Asian crab found

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Swan River -

three, six and 12 months later, which caught no Asian pad­dle crabs, 1139 na­tive blue swim­mers, 273 four­lobed swim­mers and one ex­am­ple each of a three-spot and co­ral crab.

Ms Mas­sam said lar­vae in a ship’s bal­last, in­di­vid­ual crabs inside hulls or lar­vae drift­ing from the north on the Leeuwin Cur­rent were the most likely sources of Asian pad­dle crabs, but it was almost im­pos­si­ble to iden­tify the cul­prit from the hun­dreds of ves­sels vis­it­ing or mov­ing around WA each year.

The spec­i­mens from Matilda and Mos­man bays were all male adults and Ms Mas­sam said it was a “good sign” that no im­ma­ture in­di­vid­u­als, in­di­cat­ing breed­ing, had been found.

Find­ing a fe­male would change Fish­eries’ re­sponse to the threat, which she said was cur­rently sus­pected to be “iso­lated males drop­ping off a boat”.

Since 2013, Fish­eries has re­ceived about 400 calls from crab­bers with sus­pect crabs but many were the na­tive four-lobed swimming crab that has no spines be­tween its eyes, while the Asian pad­dle crab has sharp spines be­tween the eyes and six spines down each side

The Matilda Bay fish­er­man had a Fish­eries alert about the Asian pad­dle crab in his back­pack and took the spec­i­men to sci­en­tists that day, after call­ing the biose­cu­rity Fish­watch on 1800 815 507.

A free marine pest mo­bile tele­phone phone ap­pli­ca­tion is at www.fish.wa.gov.au/ biose­cu­rity.

Depart­ment of Fish­eries marine biose­cu­rity of­fi­cer Mar­ion Mas­sam with the Asian pad­dle crab caught near Matilda Bay, Craw­ley.

The poi­sonous Asian pad­dle crab.

The na­tive four-lobed swimming crab.

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