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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Tuesday 4 August 2020

Border check makes unwanted crab catch

Western Australia’s border remains closed to invasive threats with quarantine and fisheries officers working together to stop a major marine pest flown in from the Eastern States.

Officers from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) intercepted a 40-kilogram consignment of the noxious-listed Carcinus maenas, known as European shore crabs, last week.

Specialist compliance and investigations manager Nigel Schofield said the four boxes of live crabs had been imported from Victoria and were intended to go into the retail and restaurant trade.

“The suspect package of live crabs was identified by quarantine officers in air freight at Perth Airport and reported to our fisheries compliance area for identification,” Mr Schofield said.

“This is a highly invasive species which is established in most other Australian states but not in WA.

“It poses a serious threat to WA’s aquatic environment, and is known to be a voracious predator which could outcompete native species for food and habitat.”

The noxious-listed European shore crabs seized at Perth Airport

Mr Schofield said the crabs had been destroyed, and investigations were ongoing to determine how this live noxious species made its way to WA.

DPIRD quarantine director Greg Pickles said Western Australia was free of many pests and diseases found elsewhere.

“Our quarantine service works hard to maintain WA’s excellent biosecurity status by preventing the introduction of exotic plant and animal pests and diseases found in other states and territories of Australia,” Mr Pickles said.

“This includes inspecting imports at air, road, rail, mail and sea entry points for quarantine risk material.”

More information on the European shore crab is available from the Fisheries website, search ‘European shore crab’.
The WA public is reminded to report any suspect aquatic pests or diseases to Fishwatch on 1800 815 507.

Last modified: 4/08/2020 10:48 AM

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