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   Eriocheir sinensis (crustacean)     
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         Management Information

    Control of the Chinese mitten crab is difficult because of its abundance, ubiquity, high reproductive rate and wide range of physiological tolerances (Deborah et al. 2003). It seems that eradication programmes are unsuccessful once the crab has established self-sustaining populations (Gollasch 2006). The "catch as many as you can" strategy shows limited success (Gollasch 2006). Despite the best efforts, no effective management approach has been developed and all eradication efforts have shown limited efficiency (Gollasch 2006).

    Preventative Methods: Methods to minimise future spread of the mitten crab are quite limited (Gollasch, 2006). Migration barriers and eradication programmes have shown limited success (Gollasch 2006). Certain guidelines and regulatory instruments may however be applied in areas where the species does not yet occur (Gollasch, 2006). For further details see the Ballast Water Management Convention of the International Maritime Organization (www.imo.org) and the Code of Practice for the Introduction and Transfer of Marine organisms of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (www.ices.dk).

    Physical Control: Trapping of crabs has not been found effective in reducing the damage caused to river banks and the feeding on trapped fish (Gollasch, 2006). In order to prevent the migration of the crab up rivers in Germany electrical screens were installed on the river bottom in the 1930s to 1940s and pulses were used to disable and kill the crabs, but this met with little success (McEnnulty et al., 2001).

    Information and awareness: This invader has occurred in Europe for almost 100 years and this is why some believe it is a native species (Gollasch, 2006). Awareness raising initiatives have been so far limited to publications in journals (Gollasch, 2006). The general perception is that not much can be done to manage the mitten crab (Gollasch, 2006).

    Knowledge and research: The first mass development of mitten crabs in Germany in the 1930s prompted many studies in the North Sea region, however, comprehensive studies in the Baltic are lacking (Gollasch, 2006). As the crab is only collected occasionally in Baltic waters no substantial research on the invader developed (Gollasch, 2006). However, invasion biology in general is a research topic in almost all Baltic countries (Gollasch, 2006). A network of researchers who deal with mitten crabs published a joint article on mitten crabs findings in the Baltic (Ojaveer et al., 2007).

    Integrated Management: Zoologists at the Natural History Museum (London, UK) have suggested that commercial fishermen should target this species and export it to China where it is considered a delicacy (Owen, 2003). Clark et al (2009) also suggest commerical harvesting of the crab in the River Thames Estuary.    



         Location Specific Management Information
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