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'Natural Prawn Killers' Pose Threat to Irish Marine Life

3rd March 2011
'Natural Prawn Killers' Pose Threat to Irish Marine Life
Irish boatowners and fishermen have been urged to remain alert to the prospect of so-called 'killer shrimp' invading Ireland's waters.
The dikerogammarus villosus shrimp - which has spread aggressively throughout Europe in the past decade and was discovered in England last year - could have "dire consequences" for the biodiversity of Ireland's rivers and lakes.
Kevin Flannery of Dingle Oceanworld told the Sunday Independent: "These invasive species are very aggressive and take over from the native species - and change the whole environment and ecosystem."
The killer shrimp is larger that its native cousin, making it a more deadly predator. It is known to attack insect larvae, baby fish and native shrimp.
"The shrimp will eat the primary source of food for the trout and salmon and other indigenous species which have been here for billions of years," said Flannery.
The killer shrimp has spread mainly by attaching to boat hulls at the larval stage, promping Flannery to urge all fishermen and boatowners to disinfect their vessels before using them in Irish waterways.

Irish boatowners and fishermen on inland waterways have been urged to remain alert to the prospect of so-called 'killer shrimp' invading Ireland's waters.

The dikerogammarus villosus shrimp - which has spread aggressively throughout Europe in the past decade and was discovered in England last year - could have "dire consequences" for the biodiversity of Ireland's rivers and lakes.

Kevin Flannery of Dingle Oceanworld told the Sunday Independent: "These invasive species are very aggressive and take over from the native species - and change the whole environment and ecosystem."

The killer shrimp is larger that its native cousin, making it a more deadly predator. It is known to attack insect larvae, baby fish and native shrimp.

"The shrimp will eat the primary source of food for the trout and salmon and other indigenous species which have been here for billions of years," said Flannery.

The killer shrimp has spread mainly by attaching to boat hulls at the larval stage, promping Flannery to urge all fishermen and boatowners to disinfect their vessels before using them in Irish waterways.

Published in Inland Waterways
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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