Killer shrimps declared “Public Enemy Number One” Published: 08 August, 2011
THEY are alien, ruthless killers – and now the Government has declared them Public Enemy Number One!
The killer shrimp is back in the news almost a year after Fishupdate.com disclosed that this invasive species had been spotted in the UK for the first time at a water reservoir in Cambridgeshire. It got the tag “killer” because it is a voracious predator. It often kills its prey and leaves it uneaten. It tends to dominate the habitat, sometimes causing the extinction of native species.Now the Environment Agency has issued a list of at least a dozen different creatures and plants which are not wanted in this country – and the killer shrimp is top of that list. They are not just pests which kill other fish and animal life, but the agency says they are costing the country around £1.7-billion a year. The killer shrimp, which originates in Europe, has a huge appetite for fresh water fish.Other marine terrors on the list include the American signal crayfish, which is endangering the UK’s own white clawed crayfish, and a fish called the topmouth gudgeon which somehow got all the way here from Japan – and reproduces rapidly .Trevor Renals, invasive species expert at the Environment Agency, has urged the public to help stop the invaders by thoroughly cleaning boating and fishing equipment. He said: “If we dont control invasive species, we risk losing some of our precious native species and incurring even more clean up costs. We would urge everyone to help stop the spread of these species by making sure that garden and pond plants dont end up near rivers and parkland and thoroughly cleaning any fishing, boating and canoeing equipment when moving between waterways.