New type of 'killer shrimp' in UK waters

Anglers in the Midlands are being asked to be extra vigilant after a second species of non-native ‘killer shrimp’ was found at a number of popular fishing venues.

Environment Agency officers discovered the Dikerogammarus haemobaphes on the River River Severn at Tewkesbury, and Bevere near Worcester as, well as on the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal and the Worcester and Birmingham.

David Throup, Environment Manager for the EA said, “We now have a dedicated team whose focus is to establish the degree of the problem, and whether the shrimp has spread wider than the locations already found. We are treating this as a priority.”

The new discovery is a relative of Dikerogammarus villosus, an invasive species that has spread from Eastern Europe. According to scientists, it is a voracious predator that ‘kills a range of native species, including young fish, and can significantly alter ecosystems’.

The Environment Agency and Canal & River Trust are urging all water users to help slow its spread by checking, cleaning and drying all their equipment after use and before using it at another location.