Crab taste can leave nasty bite

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Health -

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 the species can carry a dis­ease that could cause poi­son­ing in hu­mans.

“In gen­eral, fish­ers should first look at any small crabs with a shell width up to 120 mm 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 in­for­ma­tion 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.

Sus­pect crabs should be pho­tographed and re­ported to Fishwatch on 1800 815 507. Go to www.fish.wa.gov.au/biose­cu­rity to down­load a free marine pest mo­bile phone app.

Mar­ion Mas­sam with an Asian pad­dle crab. Four have been con­firmed found in the Swan River since 2012.

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