The large spider crab has established itself in the Oosterschelde. This means that this species, which is one of the largest crabs in the world, is present in the Netherlands for the first time.
In recent months, large spider crabs have been found during several diving and fishing trips, says the Anemon Foundation, a marine research organization. Large spider crabs are widely hunted because their meat is a delicacy for many.
The body length of large spider crabs is only about 20 cm, but the spider-like legs including the pincers are enormous. The crab was already increasing in the North Sea, but now the animal has been found in Dutch rivers for the first time.
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In Europe, large spider crabs are naturally found in the Channel Zone and areas further south. In recent years, large numbers of spider crabs have been increasingly seen near the Belgian coast. According to researchers, this is due to climate change. So Anemon thinks it makes sense that the crustaceans would now appear in the Netherlands.
By the way, lobsters and crabs in Oosterschelde are not in good condition. Many animals have been found dead in recent weeks, possibly as a result of illness. There are also almost no shrimp left. Experts are investigating what exactly is happening. ANEMOON requests that you report sightings of dead animals.
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