Blue crab threatens Adriatic clam and mussel farms

Blue crab threatens Adriatic clam and mussel farms

The blue crab is putting Adriatic clam, mussel and oyster farms at risk, with damage of over 50% to production. The excessive proliferation of this crab, which destroys shellfish and fish, is caused by climate change. In Emilia Romagna, in Goro, with the flood, the excess of fresh water that poured into the lagoon kept the proliferation of algae at bay but not that of the blue crab, which has become very aggressive with a 2000% increase. In Veneto however, in the Sacca degli Scardovari, people fight against the lethal mix of algae and blue crabs.

Fish farmers' associations, starting with Fedagripesca-Confcooperative, have for days been asking for urgent measures to stem this alien species, originally from the Atlantic, which knows no predators in nature, except humans. Now the Emilia-Romagna, Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia Regions have also approved a joint document, addressed to the government so that it adopts the necessary measures to contain the damage to the marine environment and to the economy. The Emilia-Romagna Region has also proposed an article of law to activate the self-defense of fish farmers, on the model of the one approved in agriculture, to prepare a plan for fish control of the blue crab species. "It is necessary to allow self-defense, i.e. the harvesting of the crab and its marketing - said the regional councilor for agriculture and fishing, Alessio Mammi-. we also need credit aid for fishing and aquaculture companies, to support their income, just as it is necessary to proceed with the monitoring of the damage in order to then see the state of disaster recognized by the ministry with adequate refreshments". Among the requests made to the government by the Northern Adriatic Fishing District, which brings together the three coastal regions, there is also that of urgently convening a technical table for the declaration of a state of calamity.

"We cannot remedy the climatic events underway, but we must do everything possible to contain the damage - said the vice president of Fedagripesca-Confcooperative, Paolo Tiozzo - we need to take care of lakes, lagoons and ponds with periodic maintenance interventions, instead of always chasing emergencies. Fishermen too often find themselves having to fight this battle alone with daily and concrete gestures such as cleaning the waters from algae before starting to fish. But that is no longer enough."

If the fish farmer will be able to fish and sell blue crabs as a "defense tool" for his production, but also as a means of supplementing his income, the regions are asking that the food consumption of this product be promoted at the same time, as well as the creation of a supply chain for its transformation.

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