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Asian Shrimp Found in Connecticut River

Asian Shrimp Found in Connecticut River

Stories of non-native species appearing in U.S. lands and waters are not so rare these days. In Early June, Oriental shrimp were identified in Connecticut’s Mystic River. The species is from Korea, Japan, and China. When mature they are about three inches long and are commercially viable in Asia. They got to the Mystic River probably from a cargo ship which carried them in its ballast water. They were first identified on the East Coast in 2001, in the Bronx River. In 1962 they were found in  San Francisco.

Currently it isn’t known if the Asian shrimp will have a negative impact on the Mystic River ecosystem. Marine scientist James T. Carlton said of the discovery, “When we see a shrimp like this it tells me the door is still open, and that’s a real concern. It tells us the pathways for invasion are still in play.” In other words, if one invasive species can live there, others may be on the way, or already there.

Invasive species can cause major damage to native ecology. For example, in 1995, zebra mussel removal in the San Francisco Bay Area cost 17 million dollars. At the moment no one knows if the Asian shrimp will cause damage to the population of grassy Mystic River shrimp. They don’t know if local fish will eat the Asian shrimp either. It may turn out that humans will have to intervene and catch the Asian shrimp if they can, and eat them.

Non-native, or exotic species sometimes thrive in American landscapes. There are now so many Burmese Pythons in Florida there are Python Patrols in the state used to help eradicate the species, though that may not be enough. In about 1940, 150 nutria escaped into the Louisiana bayou, and by 1960 there were millions.

At this point, it isn’t known how many Asian shrimp are in the Mystic River, but there may have to be some measures taken to control their population.

Related:
Shrimp: A Devastating Delicacy
Gulf Seafood: Tasty or Tainted?
Safe, Sustainable Fish

Image Credit: snowriverguy

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54 comments

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7:17AM PDT on Sep 6, 2012

Well said, Robert

9:31AM PDT on Jul 5, 2012

thanks

12:19AM PDT on May 1, 2012

Thanks.

3:44PM PDT on Mar 24, 2012

Thank you.

5:50AM PST on Feb 2, 2012

unreal

5:50AM PST on Feb 2, 2012

unreal

12:08PM PST on Dec 19, 2011

interesting !!!

1:01AM PST on Nov 21, 2010

Thanks for the info.

12:06PM PST on Nov 20, 2010

Very interesting. Hopefully they won't pose a threat.

8:54PM PDT on Jul 23, 2010

To save the native creatures if these shrimp are a danger to them. Is catch them, sell them or eat them.

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