Chinese Mitten Crab Fact Sheet.cdr


Chinese Mitten Crab Fact Sheet.cdr
April 2016
Stop Aquatic
Invasive Species
Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis)
The Chinese mitten crab is an invasive species with a preferred habitat of fresh or brackish waters and will migrate
to saltwater for reproduction. These tough invasive crabs can tolerate polluted and disturbed areas making them
hard to eradicate. A single female crab can carry 25 thousand to one million eggs, carrying the eggs until they
hatch. After reproduction, both the male and female crabs die. These non-native crabs reduce the native
invertebrate population as they make up a large portion of their diet and create erosion issues due to their
burrowing actions. Another concern related to this invasive species is that it's the secondary host for the Oriental
lung fluke. This fluke affects most mammals including humans if it is improperly cooked and consumed. Lastly,
they can be a major problem for the commercial fishery as they damage nets and the potential catch.
The invasive Chinese mitten crab is native to the coastal rivers and estuaries of the Yellow Sea between China and
Korea. In the early 1900s, this invasive species was introduced to Germany and many other northern European
areas. They continued to spread rapidly and made their first appearance in North America in 1965 in the Great
Lakes. In 2004, they were found in the St. Lawrence River. The spread of the Chinese mitten crab started either from
humans releasing them in hopes to create a fishery or by being transported through ship ballast water.
Photo credit: CA Department of Fish and Wildlife
Distinctive notch between the eyes
Smooth and round body
Claws are hairy with white tips (no native species have hairy claws)
Hairy claws resembling mittens giving this crab its name
Legs are more than twice the body width
Body size can be up to 80 millimetres in width
Colour varies from greenish to brown
TIP LINE: 1-800-667-7561
SaskTel Cell: #5555
How would the Chinese mitten crab get here?
Chinese mitten crabs primarily spread to new waters by being released by humans or from the crab moving to a
different water body. These crabs have a great ability to migrate upstream for many miles and climb over
What can I do to prevent the spread of Chinese mitten crab?
Clean, drain and dry your boat and equipment thoroughly before launching into a new area. Remove and
dispose all visible plants, animals and mud into enclosed garbage cans.
Never use invasive species as bait or in your aquarium; always check with the sellers to be sure. Make others
aware of this invasive animal and report any findings to the Saskatchewan TIP line.
Live Wells
Dock Lines
Live Wells
Ballast Tanks
Current Saskatchewan Regulation
The Fisheries Regulations prohibit Saskatchewan residents and visitors from
importing, possessing, transporting or selling aquatic invasive species.
Report Sightings
Report any sightings to the nearest Ministry of Environment office or call the TIP line.
Need more information or have questions?
Call 1-800-567-4224 (in North America) or email [email protected]
TIP LINE: 1-800-667-7561
SaskTel Cell: #5555
For a complete
list of prohibited
species, click here

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