'Killer shrimp' threatens British angling

Britain's three million anglers were warned yesterday that the future of their pastime is at risk – from a shrimp. The crustacean from Eastern Europe kills a range of native creatures, including the eggs and young of many fish. It can, say angling bodies, significantly damage ecosystems.

Anglers first found the shrimp, Dikerogammarus villosus, at Graham Water, Rutland, in September, but it has since spread to two sites in Wales, one at Port Talbot, the other in Cardiff Bay.

The Angling Trust and the Salmon and Trout Association said: "It has the capacity to devastate fish and invertebrates throughout the entire country's rivers, lakes, reservoirs and canals if not vigorously contained and destroyed."

The trust and the association told their members to report any unusual looking shrimps to the Environment Agency and make sure they don't unwittingly transfer the shrimps from one fishery to another. Paul Knight, the head of the S&TA said: "The speed of spread is frightening, and we must do everything possible to contain it."