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Home / Aquatic Invasives / Aquatic Invertebrates / Chinese Mitten Crab

Chinese Mitten Crab

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Chinese mitten crab
Chinese mitten crab, adult - Photo by Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
Scientific Name: 

Eriocheir sinensis (ITIS)

Common Name: 

Chinese mitten crab

Native To: 

Pacific coast of China and Korea (NAS Database)

Date of U.S. Introduction: 

1991 (West Coast); 2005 (East Coast) (NAS Database)

Means of Introduction: 

Ballast water (also possibly through intentional releases) (Cohen and Carlton 1997)

Impact: 

Interference with fish salvage operations, fish passage facilities, water treatment plants, power plants, and other facilities (Cohen and Weinstein 2001)

Current U.S. Distribution: 
West Coast; Great Lakes; Chesapeake Bay

Spotlights

DOC. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; New Hampshire Sea Grant; MIT Sea Grant; Maine Sea Grant.

The Rapid Response Plan for Management and Control of the Chinese Mitten Crab is intended to guide efforts to mitigate the further introduction and spread of the Chinese mitten crab in the northeastern United States and Canada. Due to the unique challenges of invasive species introductions to marine and coastal ecosystems, the mitten crab and other existing and potential marine invasive species are more difficult and often more costly to manage or control than freshwater aquatic or terrestrial invasive species. This document focuses on the use of early detection and rapid response as a tool to prevent the introduction and spread of Chinese mitten crabs and other crabs belonging to the genus Eriocheir throughout northeastern United States and Atlantic Canada. The primary goal of this plan is to provide information needed to support local, state, and regional efforts to prevent and control the spread of Chinese mitten crabs throughout northeastern United States and Atlantic Canada. For more information on the development of this plan, see Early Detection and Rapid Response Plan for the Invasive Chinese Mitten Crab.

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center.

Are you a crabber, waterman, or concerned citizen? We need your help to detect and assess the status of Chinese Mitten Crabs. The "Mitten Crab Watch" website provides information on the invasion of the mitten crab and allows users to more easily report catches.

Please help us detect live mitten crabs by reporting any sighting in North America. We are especially interested in collecting sightings from the Chesapeake Bay, Delaware Bay, Hudson River, and San Francisco Bay --- where the crab has been common in the past. Please visit the Mitten Crab Watch website to learn more about the crab and to report sightings.

Distribution / Maps / Survey Status

DOI. USGS. Wetland and Aquatic Research Center.
Provides detailed collection information as well as animated map.

Federally Regulated

DOI. FWS. Fish and Aquatic Conservation.

Includes species listed as injurious wildlife under the Federal Lacey Act (18 USC 42), which makes it illegal to import injurious wildlife into the United States or transport between the listed jurisdictions in the shipment clause (the continental United States, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and any possession of the United States) without a permit. An injurious wildlife listing would not prohibit intrastate transport or possession of that species within a State where those activities are not prohibited by the State.

Injurious wildlife are wild mammals, wild birds, amphibians, reptiles, fishes, crustaceans, mollusks and their offspring or eggs that are injurious to the interests of human beings, agriculture, horticulture, forestry, wildlife or wildlife resources of the U.S. Plants and organisms other than those stated above cannot be listed as injurious wildlife.
See also: Injurious Wildlife: A Summary of the Injurious Provisions of the Lacey Act (Dec 2017; PDF | 401 KB)

Images

Videos

Google. YouTube; Great Britain Non-Native Species Secretariat.

Selected Resources

The section below contains highly relevant resources for this species, organized by source. Or, to display all related content view all resources for Chinese Mitten Crab.

Council or Task Force

Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office. Washington Invasive Species Council.

Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force.
Partnership
European Network on Invasive Alien Species.
See also: NOBANIS Fact Sheets for invasive alien species of the European region, covering both animals and plants, as well as microorganisms
IUCN. Species Survival Commission. Invasive Species Specialist Group.
Mitten Crab Recording Project (United Kingdom).
Northeast Aquatic Nuisance Species Panel.

New York Invasive Species Clearinghouse.

Great Britain Non-Native Species Secretariat.

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Galveston Bay Estuary Program; Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC).

Texas State University System. Texas Invasive Species Institute.
Federal Government
Smithsonian Institution. Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. Marine Invasions Research Lab.
DOI. USGS. Wetland and Aquatic Research Center.
Provides distribution maps and collection information (State and County).
International Government
State and Local Government

New York Department of Environmental Conservation.

California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Academic
Washington Sea Grant.
Pennsylvania State University. Pennsylvania Sea Grant.
See also: Aquatic Invasive Species: Resources for additional species information
Professional

Chesapeake Bay Program.

Citations