Crab taste can leave nasty bite
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.