facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

'Cannibal' shrimp in U.S. waters a worry

April 26, 2012 at 8:06 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, April 26 (UPI) -- An invasion of giant "cannibal" shrimp into America's east coast and gulf coast waters appears to be getting worse, U.S. governmental researchers say.

Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported Thursday sightings of massive Asian tiger shrimp, which can eat their smaller shrimp counterparts, were 10 times higher in 2011 than in 2010.

"And they are probably even more prevalent than reports suggest, because the more fisherman and other locals become accustomed to seeing them, the less likely they are to report them," Pam Fuller, a USGS biologist, told CNN.

Native to Asian and Australian waters, the tiger shrimp, which can grow to 13 inches long, have been seen in coastal U.S. waters from North Carolina to Texas.

Tiger shrimp can be eaten, Fuller said.

"They're supposed to be very good. But they can get very large, sorta like lobsters," Fuller said.

But it's the Tiger shrimps' own eating habits that have researchers concerned.

"Are they competing with or preying on native shrimp?" Fuller asked. "It's also very disease-prone."

The invasive species will be the subject of a research project, scientists said.

"The Asian tiger shrimp represents yet another potential marine invader capable of altering fragile marine ecosystems," NOAA marine ecologist James Morris said in a statement.

"Our efforts will include assessments of the biology and ecology of this non-native species and attempts to predict impacts to economically and ecologically important species of the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico."

Topics: James Morris
© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
Massive sunspot sending violent flares toward Earth Massive sunspot sending violent flares toward Earth
2
Google exec breaks skydive record with dive from near-space Google exec breaks skydive record with dive from near-space
3
Powerful new microscope sees cell division in real time Powerful new microscope sees cell division in real time
4
Coal-rich Poland wants concessions in EU climate deal Coal-rich Poland wants concessions in EU climate deal
5
Stone tools reveal Ice Age settlement in the Andes Stone tools reveal Ice Age settlement in the Andes
Trending News
Around the Web
x
Feedback