Posted on: November 19, 2012
Recently, an Asian paddle crab was captured in the Swan River by a recreational fisherman. This species is not native to Western Australia however has the potential to establish itself here and become a pest. It has the potential to spread disease and out-compete native species like the iconic blue swimmer crab. To find out more about this species, click here.
Did you know… in Western Australian waters, there are 60 known non-native marine species that have become established. However not all marine species introduced to a new area become pests. Some are unable to survive the conditions of their new environment, whilst others are unable to reproduce and establish a viable population.
Check out the Marine WATERs Lesson Plan: Pest Control to learn more about marine pests found in Western Australia. In Activity 1, students will learn the difference between native and introduced species and will investigate the problems associated with introduced species in the marine environment. You may wish to use the Fisheries Fact Sheet: Introduced Marine Species to learn more about introduced species in the marine environment.
In Activity 4, students will use their knowledge of a specific introduced species to design a wanted poster to inform the community to look out for and report any sightings of the species. You may wish to discuss the Asian paddle crab example used by the Department of Fisheries with your students to assists them in their design. If you would like to investigate introduced marine species in more detail with your students, you may request a copy of the Department of Fisheries publication, Introduced Marine Species in Western Australia here.
Once your students are well versed on marine pests, challenge them to complete our Pest Line-Up game. In each frame, students will be presented with three possible suspects, of which, one is a marine pest. Using the information provided, students will need to determine which suspect is the pest to move on.