Four more Asian paddle crabs, a particularly invasive marine pest, have been found the Bay of Plenty region this summer. This has been the second discovery of the crabs in the region.
The four crabs were recently caught in MPI’s summer marine high-risk survey in two locations - near the Mataphi Bridge and at Omokoroa.
Asian Paddle Crabs (Charybdis Japonica) have already established in Northland and the Hauraki Gulf .
“These crabs are nasty pieces of work. They compete with our own native crabs and also feed on shellfish such as pipi, tuatua and cockles.”
They can grow up to 12cm and have six distinct spikes on each side of the carapace (body) with five spines on each claw. In New Zealand they prefer to hide in estuaries where there is firm sand or muddy fine sand in depths of up to 15 metres.
Anyone seeing the pest is asked to kill them and report their find on 0800 STOP PESTS (0800 786 773).
Originally published in the February 2019 issue of New Zealand Fishing News magazine.
Reproduction elsewhere without permission of the publisher is prohibited.
08 February 2019