Broads water users urged to 'Check Clean Dry' following new finding of killer shrimp

14 March 2012

Broads water users urged to 'Check Clean Dry' following new finding of killer shrimp

Following dedicated monitoring a further population of the Killer Shrimp (Dikerogammarus villosus) has been identified in Norfolk.  The Environment Agency has provided the following press release:

"All users of the Broads are being asked to ensure they follow ‘Check Clean Dry’ guidance when dealing with equipment which has been in contact with the water, after a few of the invasive non-native shrimp, Dikerogammarus villosus, were found in a small area of Barton Broad.

The Environment Agency, Natural England and the Broads Authority are currently working together to investigate the presence of the shrimp in the Broads, including its current population and spread.

Andrea Kelly Senior Ecologist for the Broads Authority said: ‘The shrimp were found through a dedicated monitoring programme. Fortunately we’ve only found the shrimp in a very localised area in the Broads so far. People checking, cleaning and drying their equipment after use is essential to help stop the spread of all non-native species and we would really appreciate their full cooperation in doing this.

‘We are working with our partners to investigate the shrimps’ current population and range in the Broads and to investigate and implement measures to limit its spread to and from other water courses. There is no risk to the public or their pets from it.’

Dikerogammarus villosus, commonly known as ‘killer shrimp’, is an invasive non-native species. If the shrimp became established and widespread, as other invasive species such as floating pennywort and Signal crayfish have, it could threaten populations of native species. Although the shrimp only grows to a maximum of 30mm (11/4 inches) it feeds on insect life including our native species such as damselfly nymphs, water boatmen and small fish.

The Check Clean Dry campaign asks all water users to take simple steps to help prevent the spread of non-native species between rivers, lakes and reservoirs. Clothing and equipment that has come in contact with the water should be checked for any living organisms and then thoroughly washed-down. Any organisms found should be returned to the water body they came from. Equipment and clothing should be dried as some species can survive for days in damp conditions."

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