Open Access Review Article

Why There are Almost no Reports on Non‐Indigenous Lobsters?

Ehud Spanier*

Department of Maritime Civilizations and The Leon Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies, The Leon H Charney School for Marine Sciences, University of Haifa, Israel

Corresponding Author

Received Date: November 08, 2021;  Published Date: November 29, 2021


Introduction of non‐indigenous marine species to new areas have been enhanced in the recent years due mainly to transport of life stages in ballast water of ships and man-made canals. Crustaceans, and especially Decapoda, is one of the most successful taxonomic group that demonstrate migration between biogeographic provinces. Yet there is almost no report on alien lobsters despite their large geographic and ecological dispersal and the economic importance of many lobsters’ species. What is the reason for this scarcity? An exception of this shortage of reports is found in the American clawed lobsters. Adults are imported, mainly by flight transport for human consumptions, from North America to the European countries. Some of these alien lobsters were released/escaped and recorded in north European waters. The Mediterranean and especially its south-eastern Levant basin, is considered a hot spot of bio-invasions. Dozens of Red Sea and Indian Ocean decapod crustacean’s species have migrated to the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal in a process termed “Lessepsian migration” and many have established viable populations. Yet there are only 2 reports of a single record each, of 2 Indo-pacific spiny lobsters’ species in the coast of Israel. It is suggested that passage of lobsters’ sensitive propagules in ballast waters of ships is less probable due to the long and complex life history of these crustaceans. It is also doubtful if the delicate planktonic early stages of lobsters can survive and complete their life cycle in the environmental conditions of the regions of destination.

Keywords: Bio-invasions; Shipping, Ballast water; Decapod crustaceans; Live import; Anthropogenic effects; Lessepsian migration; Life cycle; Environmental conditions

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