Blue crab, fish farmers say yes to emergency measures
Applause for 10 million allocated by Masaf: 'but why did the crustacean suddenly proliferate?
28, Sep 2023
The API, the association that brings together the fish farmers of Confagricoltura, applauds the additional 10 million euros allocated by Masaf to support the producers of clams, mussel farming and fish farming, affected by the invasion of the blue crab. The measure goes to support the loss of product and for the protection of mussel and clam farms, and adds to the 2.9 million already allocated announced by Minister Lollobrigida.
“In the current situation, aquaculture companies, given the impossibility of defending them, are not placing clam fry in the concessions - says API president Pier Antonio Salvador -. Between December 2023 and mid-2024 there is a strong risk of no longer finding products made in Italy and of having to import them from abroad, in addition to the danger that manufacturing companies run of no longer being able to self-sustain".
“We are satisfied with these measures, which we also requested at the last meeting - underlines Salvador -. However, it is necessary to understand and investigate, from a scientific point of view, why the blue crab, present in our seas since the 1980s, has had this sudden and uncontrolled proliferation. This predator destroys not only the adult product ready for marketing, but also everything that should have represented next year's production."
To date, the ability to combat the reproduction of blue crabs mainly involves shellfish aquaculture farmers: the limit in their combating activity, as the fish farmers' association underlines, is in the equipment authorized on boats, at ministerial and regional level. Attention should also be paid to the inedible sizes of the alien crustacean.
In 2022, Italian aquaculture produced 180,000 tons of fish and shellfish, with a turnover that exceeded 500 million euros, breeding 35 fish species in different environments: freshwater, lagoons, sea.