Expert warns over new invasive species in Mediterranean Sea
“The population of these crabs that entered the Mediterranean from the Red Sea is increasing everyday due to overfishing,” Seyit Ali Kamanlı said.
According to Kamanlı, who conducts field research in the southern provinces of Adana and Mersin, the invasive crab species, originating in the Indian Ocean, were first detected in the Mediterranean Sea in 1954.
“The stingray-fish were eating these crabs to maintain the balance of the ecosystem. But over time, fishers overhunted the stingray-fish, allowing these invasive crabs to reproduce rapidly,” he noted.
As the population of these crabs increased, “they started eating fish eggs, decreasing the biodiversity in the sea.”
Kamanlı also stressed on another danger posed by a different crab species in the Black Sea, named “eriocheir sinensis.”
According to the expert, these crabs, originating in China, moved to north Europe on ships.
“The latest reports say that these crabs were seen in the Danube River, which means they are approaching the Black Sea,” he said.