All fishers, along with other boat and water users, are being urged to keep an eye out and report any suspicious aquatic pests while fishing or out in the water after an Asian Paddle Crab was found in the Port River last month.
Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said this is the third detection of the pest in South Australia in the last 12 months.
"This latest detection, involving a male Asian Paddle Crab, was caught by a recreational fisher who reported the find to Fishwatch," said Minister Whetstone.
"While it is disappointing there has been another Asian Paddle Crab found here in South Australian waters, what has been heartening with the latest detection is the fisher knew immediately what he had caught thanks to a public awareness campaign on the pest conducted by the State Government ensuring he acted appropriately and promptly.
"It is great to see that awareness among the community and I urge water users to remain vigilant against not only Asian Paddle Crabs but all aquatic pests.
"A native species in central and eastern Asia, Asian Paddle Crabs are aggressive, non-native crabs that could out-compete native crabs like the Blue Swimmer Crab.
"They have the potential to carry exotic aquatic diseases such as white spot, which could spread and impact our highly regarded premium seafood species including prawns, crabs and lobsters.
"The Asian Paddle Crab is not currently established anywhere in Australia and we must do everything we can to make sure it that doesn’t happen in South Australia.
"It is important that if you suspect you may have come across or caught the pest to not return it to the water. Please retain them separately from any Blue Swimmer Crabs you may have caught, take a photo and immediately report the find to PIRSA via Fishwatch on 1800 065 522.
"Retaining a suspected Asian Paddle Crab and taking a photo before calling Fishwatch will allow quick identification, and PIRSA officers will also be able to advise on the correct disposal methods of such pests."
Asian Paddle Crab – what to look out for:
- six spines down each side of the shell
- it can grow up to 120mm wide, which is smaller than the Blue Swimmer Crab
- found in a number of colours
- pale, olive green, brown, purple
- sharp spines between its eyes.
Any sightings of suspect Asian Paddle Crab must be reported to Fishwatch on 1800 065 522 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org