Attack of the demon shrimp: the species threatens to wreak havoc in British waters
The aggressive breed disrupts food chains and may carry diseases
An influx of aggressive demon shrimp is threatening to wipe out native species in British rivers and lakes - and is costing the British economy billions of pounds.
Demon shrimp, which originate from the region around the Black Sea and Caspian Sea, are disrupting the food chain in British waters and experts claim they pose a major bio-hazard.
And safeguarding the country against the problem is contributing to the cost of Invasive Non-Native Species (INNS) to the British economy, which is estimated at a total of approximately £1.7 billion a year.
Dr Alex Ford, a marine scientist from the University of Portsmouth, said that some of Britain’s native shrimp are in danger of being completely eradicated.
“They are out-eating and out-competing our native shrimps and changing the species dynamic in our rivers and lakes. As soon as one species is depleted it can affect the whole food chain with potentially catastrophic results,” he said.
Demon shrimp found their way into British waters accidentally, possibly through ballast water from ships. They kill and eat indigenous breeds and scientists have warned that they may spread diseases.
Dr Ford added: “We are looking at whether these demon shrimp carry ‘demon parasites’, which could also affect our native species that won’t have any immunity.
“There is a very real bio-security threat of spreading disease and parasites in native populations without acquired resistance.”
The Environment Agency also considers the shrimp to be a huge problem. Spokesman Tim Johns said that they pose a risk to British ecosystems.
“Invasive shrimps such as this species present a major threat to the ecology of our rivers and lakes and we have a real battle on our hands to control their spread.”
The EA is encouraging anglers and water sports fans to help stop the spread of demon shrimp by thoroughly cleaning equipment and clothing after use.
Frilled shark: Australian fishermen capture terrifying shark from the deep
Devon beavers can stay living in the wild, Natural England rules
Keep off the grass: Research confirms that highly manicured lawns produce more greenhouse gases than they soak up
Winter floods lead to sharp fall in climate change scepticism
The ugliest animals on earth: Blobfish, axolotl and proboscis monkey battle it out to be named least attractive beast
- 1 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 2 Kim Kardashian on Bruce Jenner's 'story': 'We support him no matter what, and I think when the time is right, he'll talk'
- 3 Russian girl takes her own life after parents find pornography on her computer
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A reputable organisation within the leisure i...
£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...
£96000 - £200000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Looking for a better earning p...
£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly expanding company in ...