Asian pad­dle crabs may be toxic

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Swan River Carlisle -

THE golden rule with Asian pad­dle crabs – apart from re­port­ing any finds to the Depart­ment of Fish­eries – is not to eat the de­clared pest.

The depart­ment’s marine biose­cu­rity of­fi­cer Mar­ion Mas­sam said peo­ple should not eat the pest crab, be­cause the species can carry a dis­ease that could be toxic to peo­ple.

“In gen­eral, fish­ers should first look at any small crabs with a shell width up to 120mm that look dif­fer­ent to blue swim­mers and then check for the spines be­tween the eyes,” Ms Mas­sam said.

She said not only could the ag­gres­sive non-na­tive crab spread dev­as­tat­ing dis­ease to prawns, crabs and lob­sters, it could carry a dis­ease called par­a­lytic shell­fish poi­son­ing that causes poi­son­ing in hu­mans.

A depart­ment info sheet said more than 100 deaths and sev­eral thou­sand ill­nesses from PSP had been re­ported around the world.

Around 20 species of di­noflag­el­late or­gan­isms had been im­pli­cated in pro­duc­ing the toxin sax­i­toxin that ac­cu­mu­lates in shell­fish, caus­ing po­tent neu­ro­mus­cu­lar block­ing in hu­mans.

In mild cases of PSP there may be tin­gling or numb­ness around lips (spread­ing to face and neck), headache, nau­sea, vom­it­ing and di­ar­rhoea.

In more ex­treme cases there could be mus­cu­lar paral­y­sis and re­s­pi­ra­tory dif­fi­culty, po­ten­tially re­sult­ing in death.

Depart­ment of Fish­eries marine bio-se­cu­rity of­fi­cer Mar­ion Mas­sam with the Asian pad­dle crab caught near Matilda Bay.

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