Invasive Demon shrimp threaten British marine species

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A species of shrimp, dubbed the ‘demon shrimp,’ which was previously unknown in British waters, are attacking and eating native shrimp and disrupting the food chain in some of our rivers and lakes. The problem is contributing to the cost of Invasive non-native species (INNS) to the British economy, which is estimated at a total annual cost of approximately £1.7 billion. Dr Alex Ford, a marine scientist from the University of Portsmouth, is investigating the problem with support from the Environment Agency. He said that demon shrimp, so called because of their larger size and aggressive behavior, are currently a more widespread threat than the ‘killer shrimp’ also known to have invaded British waters in 2010. The fear is that some of Britain’s native shrimp are in danger of being completely eradicated from some rivers and lakes, he added. “They are out-eating and out-competing our native shrimps and changing the species dynamic in our rivers and lakes. As soon as one species is depleted it can affect the whole food chain with potentially catastrophic results.” The demon shrimp originates from the region around the Black sea and Caspian sea (known as the Ponto-Caspian region) and found their way into British waters accidently, possibly through shipping in ballast water and are now infiltrating the country via navigable waterways. More
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