Invasion of giant “cannibal” shrimp or Asian Tiger Shrimp into America’s east coast and gulf coast waters appears to be getting worse according to U.S. governmental researchers.
The tiger shrimp can be nearly a foot long (30 cm) and can be consumed by humans. They’re native to Indo-West Pacific oceans including the waters off East Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Philippines, and Australia.
In 1998, about 2,000 of the creatures were accidentally released from an aquaculture facility in South Carolina. Three hundred of those were recovered from waters off South Carolina, Georgia and Florida according to reports by several international news sites.
According to US Geological Survey (USGS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the population of Asian tiger shrimps have grown 10 times more in 2011 compared to the numbers in 2010.
NOAA Marine ecologist James Morris stated that “The Asian tiger shrimp represents yet another potential marine invader capable of altering fragile marine ecosystems,”
“Our efforts will include assessments of the biology and ecology of this non-native species and attempts to predict impacts to economically and ecologically important species of the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico.”
Researchers are worried that the giant “cannibal” shrimp species is preying on the smaller and native sea life.
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