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Killer Shrimp 

24/09/2010

The Environment Agency and Thames Water have issued the following advice to all users of reservoirs in the area

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On the 3 September Dikerogammarus villosus was found at Grafham Water reservoir site in Cambridgeshire run by Anglian Water.  This is the first time that this species has been found in British waters.  Due to its voracious appetite it is more commonly known as the “killer shrimp”.

 

The shrimp can grow to 3cm in length, much larger than our native species.  It often has striped or spotted marking and its mandibles are relatively large.  It kills a range of native species, such as young native shrimps, fish, and other insects, often killing its targets but leaving them uneaten.  As a result of this it can alter the ecology of the habitats that it enters, sometimes causing the extinction of native species.

 

Whilst the Environment Agency determine the extent of the problem in the UK, it is important that we take practical action now to avoid the spread of this species.

 

Good practice and guidance measures for recreational users

 

We are asking for your help to prevent the spread of this invasive species by following some simple measures:

On arrival at one of our sites

  • Anglers please ensure that your nets and equipment are dry and that they have been thoroughly cleaned since last used, in particular we would ask you to visually check for any signs of the shrimp.
  • Sailors and windsurfers please ensure that your boats/boards have been washed since they were last used and that bilge pumps are empty. When leaving one of our sites
  • Visually check all equipment that has come in contact with the water for the shrimp.
  • Wash down boats and windsurfing equipment ensuring that the washwater does not drain into the reservoir.

We ask any users also using Grafham Water to take particular care in following these guidelines.

 

If I find one

If you think that you have found one please check with the identification details on http://www.nonnativespecies.org .  Images of suspected non-native shrimp can be sent to alert_nonnative@ceh.ac.uk .

 

Please also contact a member of the Club staff or call Thames Water on 0845 9200 800

 

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