We are asking the public to report sightings of the more established Chinese mitten crab and new invader the Asian shore crab.
Chinese mitten crabs
Chinese mitten crabs are listed as one of the world's 100 worst invasive species. They cause problems by:
- damaging fishing gear such as nets with their sharp claws
- damaging river banks by burrowing into them
- blocking intake streams from rivers, lakes and reservoirs
- modifying natural habitats
- competing with native species
The full extent of Chinese mitten crab distribution in the UK is unknown, so we are asking the public to help by reporting their sightings.
Asian shore crab
Only a handful of sightings have been recorded in the UK so far, but the Asian shore crab is predicted to cause serious trouble if it becomes established. Where it has invaded northern Europe and the eastern coast of the USA, the Asian shore crab has displaced native shore crabs and destroyed shellfish populations.
Stopping them early is the only way to prevent an invasion in the UK, so if you spot an Asian shore crab, please report it.