January 18th, 2010
The idea of harvesting the invasive Chinese Mitten Crab, currently clogging up the Thames and rapidly spreading through Britain, is taking shape, with a conference planned for March to discuss the pros and cons.
It’s been proposed to use fyke nets, as pictured above. But these long net tubes held open by hoops are also a very efficient means of trapping eels, now a threatened species in Europe. Another drawback is, if the crab fishery were an economic success, people might be tempted to introduce the Mitten Crab to new rivers. As Paul Clark, marine biologist at the Natural History Museum and conference organiser, puts it:
“We are damned if we do and damned if we don’t. Mitten crabs have few natural enemies capable of reducing their numbers, but the establishment of a fishery would certainly carry risks.”
In Shanghai the Mitten Crab (Eriocheir sinensis) is a delicacy. They are eaten steamed, as this best preserves the flavour and keeps the meat tender.
See the Independent and previous post
October 11th, 2009
An almaco jack (Seriola rivoliana) has been caught 5 miles off Lundy island in what might be another sign of climate change. This species is normally found in warmer waters, such as near Florida and the Caribbean. There is speculation if a colony is establishing itself in the Bristol Channel. The species is known for rubbing itself against passing sharks – and divers – to remove skin parasites. Daily Telegraph
June 25th, 2009
On June 16, 2009, an angler fishing off the coast of South West Ireland reeled in a 480kg, 3.9m bluntnose sixgill with rod and line. Experts say that this is the biggest fish ever caught with a rod in the British Isles. Six-gill sharks are a deep-water species, and are only rarely caught. Richard Peirce, chairman of the Shark Trust, expressed his disappointment that Mr Waldis did not release his capture, as did many anglers who follow the modern more of returning “trophy” fish to the water .