Monday, December 1, 2014

01/12/2014: Demon Shrimp found in West Lancashire waters

Britain has been put on red-alert after an aggressive invasive species of shrimp was spotted in West Lancashire, The Ormskirk and Skelmersdale Advertiser reports.

The Environment Agency has warned that the scarily-named Demon Shrimp has made a fresh invasion to these shores and the impact could be devastating on the natural world. Experts are advising anyone using lakes, rivers, ponds, and canals in the north west area to check their clothes and equipment after the aggressive invader was spotted in a West Lancashire river for the first time.

The Demon Shrimp – a close relative of the Killer Shrimp – are given their nasty name because of the larger size and combative behaviour compared to native shrimps. They attack and eat Britain’s native shrimps and insects, causing mayhem in the food chain and could possibly spread disease, according to scientists. Boffins believe the shrimp made their way from the Leeds Liverpool Canal into the River Douglas where they were found at Parbold Bridge.They are now concerned they could travel further inland.

Kim Owen from the Environment Agency said: “Invasive shrimps such as this species present a major threat to ecology of our rivers and lakes, and we have a real battle on our hands to control their spread.“

The likelihood is that this species will now be widespread with any links to the Leeds Liverpool Canal and beyond through the canal network.

“We are urging everyone who uses England’s waterways to be aware of the problem and help directly in the control of invasive species by adopting and following the ‘check, clean, and dry’ approach, and thoroughly cleaning and drying any fishing or boating equipment.”

Demon Shrimp are native to south east Europe and were first found in the UK in 2012 in the River Severn. Experts fear their invasion could lead to the native shrimp being wiped out. 

Read more HERE.

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