The influx of the jumbo-sized shrimp (which look more like a small lobster than the little pink crustaceans you see at the grocery store) has increased 10 times in the last year, according to a report from the U.S. Geological Survey—from 32 in 2010 to 331 in 2011. The shrimp-eating shrimp have been spotted in waters from North Carolina to Texas.
Tony Reisinger of the Texas Sea Grant Extension Service, told CNN that the tiger prawn “are cannibalistic as are other shrimp, but it’s larger so it can consume the others.”
The black-and-white-striped sea creatures have shown up in the Gulf of Mexico and Southeast coast and, unlike their bottom-feeding cousins, are big enough—up to 13 inches long and up to a quarter-pound—to gobble up smaller shrimp.
Researchers worry that the Asian cannibal species is preying on the smaller, native sea life, competing for resources and carrying disease. Scientists don’t know exactly how the Asian variety got to the Gulf Coast—the possibilities include breeding in the local waters or being carried to the area by currents. No matter how they got to the U.S., they’re not welcome. Said Morris, “The Asian tiger shrimp represents yet another potential marine invader capable of altering fragile marine ecosystems.”
What do you think should be done to curb this so-called Cannibal Shrimp Invasion? Share your opinions with us!
Source: Yahoo News
Image: Swagger & Young