By Jean-Marc Aubert
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The phenomenon is not new since the first blue crabs were registered in 2017 on the beaches of the Mediterranean coast and in the ponds. Five years later, the invasion develops, the blue crab for the first time in recent years landed in the southern lagoons, first localized in Russia and in Lion Bay, then wreaking havoc on the fauna and flora all the way to the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, Paca.
In fact, this is how the blue beast stretches its territory to the coast of the Languedoc: now it is captured by the area south of Montpellier, La Grande MotteCarnon, Palavas les FlotsVilleneuve-les-Magellon or even Frontignan-la-Peyrad and Cap d’Agde. And this blue crab, described as aggressive, also squats the areas of Etang de Ta, around Seth and Meuse, as well as the ponds of Leucat and La Palm in Aude.
This species poses serious problems forecosystem. This 23-centimeter crab, originally from the American Atlantic coast, apparently imported by ships from Spain, first colonized the Cane-en-Roussillon lagoon in the Eastern Pyrenees, where this species can swim 15 km a day. It is here that he is most present, on the French side. Last year, catch exceeded 10 tonsaccording to Pascal Romance of the Department of Aquarium of the Oceanological Observatory of Banyuls-sur-Mer.
He hunts birds
This crab causes significant damage to these fragile ecosystems: it devours almost anything it finds. “Blue crab has an extremely varied diet and has unbalanced the entire food chain,” complains Pascal Romance. Blue feeds green crabsofacne and small fish. “We see that some birds are starting to fly away because they probably don’t have food anymore,” he said. Crab bird hunting is a bad sign for biodiversity.
This voracious crab too fisherman’s nightmare. “He has extremely sharp claws, so they eat classic fillets. It even manages to damage reinforced nets, ”says Pascal Romance. The researcher fears that blue crabs are also destabilizing Russia’s economy breeding of mollusks, because he was seen in the ponds Leukat and Tau. gold, blue crab loves oysters and mussels. Prefects and Occitania take these concerns into account: they are trying to limit their spread and support fishermen.
Swimmers run away from the blue crab and not in vain: its claws cause serious wounds. Pascal Romance confirms: “He can break a finger. People are always told to be very careful, because immediately go to the hospital. You should also avoid stepping on it.
Hands off! However, the blue crab has a good gastronomic reputation: its flesh is edible and noticeably delicious, according to chefs and gourmets from the Atlantic coast, Spain, Tunisia and Asia, who include delicious dishes on the menu. But so far there are no blue crab dishes in the restaurants and houses of Hérault.
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