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Thursday, August 11, 2022

An invasive crab is taking over river biodiversity

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The crabs, last year roomba It has become a threat to ecosystems due to its purifying function, and one way to help the cause is to eat it in pots. Everyone is free to choose how they cook this invasive style, perhaps flavoring their altruism with tomato and pepper sauce or with a sautéed onion and garlic. Everything is designed to help reduce overpopulation of American crayfish, an invasive species that was introduced into the national waterways 50 years ago and eventually engulfed locals, taking over their habitats and threatening biodiversity due to their voracity. Nicknamed the “river vulture” for its role in cleaning the canal of animal carcasses and filtering the water, it expands without remedy, devouring any living thing that crosses it and endangering biodiversity.

One way to learn about the life of this crustacean in detail is to travel to a city that has both a statue honoring it and an interpretive center dedicated to its environmental impact. Herrera de Pisuerga (Palencia, 2,000 inhabitants) has made a living fishing for buckets and buckets of this animal for decades and has had facilities from the Junta de Castilla y León since 2014 to explain how the peninsular white crab gave way to two American species: the signal crab , named for markings on its claws, and the red crab, recognizable by its vibrant color. The person responsible for publicizing these decapods is David Tutor, who is a forest engineer and environmental educator. This Soriano, based in Palencia, whose information center welcomes around 6,000 visitors a year, draws on examples and metaphors like that roomba to show how commercial desire led to the introduction of the intruder into the rivers with much greater avidity and reproductive capacity, driving the Spanish out of “redoubts”. “You can’t talk about a treasure without talking about the palace, the rivers are the example of what not to do,” Tutor points out between explanatory videos and crabs in formalin. These river dwellers have moved beyond their “scavenger” function, and their dietary needs lead them to eat whatever they catch: fish, amphibians, small birds, and even crops. Because of their paramount importance in protecting the ecosystem and preventing animals from degrading and polluting the water — “Imagine a month-long sweeper strike in Madrid” — they have become enemies of sustainability.

The board has allowed fishing without quotas or sizes this year to allow those with a license to bag as many of these unwanted exotic species as possible. This unlimited extraction means, for traceability reasons, that the catches can only be consumed at home and cannot be marketed, leading to the contradiction that the remarkable crayfish with tomatoes served in bars in Herrera come from fish farms. Tutor points out that this paradox of not being able to cook the intruder, which spills into the nearby Burejo River or into the Pisuerga itself, also contrasts with how the American specimen is sold alive in fishmongers and taken by people “with good will and ignorance” was released into the rivers, thinking they had helped their development. The environmental catastrophe was served. The expert points out that when the red crab began to breed on the peninsula, the authorities decided to bring the signal crab, thinking it would kill the other. Mistake. The alliance cornered the locals even more, creating a chapter-like situation The simpsons in which attempts are made to contain an invasive species with other predators that also find no rivals, and unleashing dangerous plagues on the basis of irresponsible politics.

The abundance of invasive crabs is visible when Tutor and Nicolás Martín from Palencia, who at 66 have fished inestimable amounts of crabs, throw the fishing nets into the Pisuerga and bring them out with numerous crustaceans. Martín remembers when they were quoted “at 300 pesetas a dozen” and in Herrera children and adults earned a good income spending hours and hours on the riverbank. “Well, we fished, and we did it for the good guys, the Native Americans, who are different from Americans!” exclaims the man who lived when disease began to reduce the population and foreigners arrived. David Tutor agrees that before the American crab was released, the crab “articulated societies and economies, fished with quotas and sizes, gave money and was ecologically sustainable”. Little is left of summers with backpacks and bike rides to bars selling their wares fresh off the water. All that remains now is to trust that the fishermen’s appetites will manage to control the relentless spread of these crustaceans, which, when caught in the nets, will raise their menacing pincers and demand freedom to continue altering river habitats .

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Source elpais.com

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