‘Killer shrimp’ found at Cambs reservoir

12:34 09 September 2010

The killer shrimp. Picture: Michal Grabowski.

The killer shrimp. Picture: Michal Grabowski.

Archant

A SPECIES of killer shrimp has been found at Grafham Water.

Dr Ian Hirst sampling for the killer shrimp at Grafham. Picture: Environment Agency

A SPECIES of killer shrimp has been found at Grafham Water.

It is the first time the species - which can kill native species of shrimp and young fish - has been found in Britain.

Called Dikerogammarus villosus, the shrimp were spotted at the reservoir by two keen-eyed anglers and reported to the Environment Agency which put bio-security measures.

Anglian Water, which owns the reservoir, has reassured the public that its water is safe to drink and work is now taking place to determine if the shrimp are getting into the reservoir from another water source.

The shrimp, which kills its prey by biting and shredding them, has already colonised parts of Western Europe, affecting a range of native species and altering the ecology of the habitats it invades.

The Environment Agency believes if the species spreads insects such as damselflies and water boatmen, common sights on British lakes and rivers, could be at risk, with knock-on effects on the species which feed on them.

Dr Geoff Brighty, from the Environment Agency, said: “We are devastated that this shrimp has been found in Britain, and very grateful to the keen-eyed anglers who found it. We are currently establishing the degree of the problem, and whether the shrimp is only in Grafham Water or if it is in nearby lakes and the Great Ouse as well.”

Ciaran Nelson from Anglian Water added: “We have put precautionary biosecurity measures in place around Grafham Water as containing the shrimp is of paramount importance. We are also assisting with investigations to establish if it is already more widespread. Subject to these controls, recreational activities on the reservoir can continue.

“We are asking all water users at Grafham to take the actions asked of them on-site. This includes checking their equipment for shrimp when they leave the water and removing any that they find. They should also ensure their equipment is thoroughly cleaned and dried before it is put into any other water.”

Expert biologists are currently testing water entering and leaving Grafham to see if it contains the shrimp. The results from this will indicate how widespread the problem might be.

The shrimp could have arrived at Grafham in a variety of ways, including boating, angling, fish-stocking or naturally via birds.

INFORMATION: Water users from Grafham wanting more information on the measures they should take can contact Anglian Water on 08457 919155 or via www.anglianwater.co.uk

If you think you have seen an unusual shrimp, please e-mail a photograph to alert_nonnative@ceh.ac.uk for identification.

0 comments

More news stories

U.S. military personnel from bases in Europe and the United States will be participating in this years Royal International Air Tattoo July 17-19 at RAF Fairford, United Kingdom. U.S. participation in RIAT highlights the strength of the U.S. commitment to the security of NATO, our ever-strong alliance with the UK demonstrates our interoperability with allies and partners from around the world. Various US military aircraft and equipment that are scheduled on display include, but not limited to: F-15C Eagle, KC-135, Stratotanker, A-10 Thunderbolt II, and CV-22 Osprey. The presence of these aircraft and Airmen at the show promotes our strong ties with NATO, Europe and our worldwide partners.

Highways England has issued advice for drivers ahead of The American Air Show at IWM Duxford this weekend.

Simon Fairhall, chief executive of Living Sport, with Kevin Wheeler, of Ramsey Ravens.

An archery club volunteer has been acknowledged for his tireless efforts with a new award.

08:04
Pierced silver Roman siliqua coin deemed treasure by coroner

A rare Roman silver coin believed to date back more than 1,600-years-old has been discovered in St Neots.

Yesterday, 14:45
Duke of Edinburgh is welcomed by local school pupils to Graham Water where he was visiting to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the reservoir. 


Matthew Power Photography

The Duke of Edinburgh returned to Grafham Water yesterday (Wednesday), 50 years after he originally opened it in 1966.

Most read stories

Most commented stories

Local business directory

Cambridgeshire's trusted business finder
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hunts Post e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up