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Saturday, August 05, 2006

Prejudice Against the Chinese Mitten Crab?

Could it be that there is an irrational prejudice (isn't prejudice irrational anyway) against the Chinese Mitten Crab (Eriocheir sinensis). We have looked into it and it is banned and illegal here. Could this be crustaceocentrism (our word)? Now if the CMC posed a threat to the indigenous blue crab in the Chesapeake Bay, then we would support the ban. However, nothing we read about the CMC differentiated it from the Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab except its size. It is bigger

According to an AP report a single mature male CMC was caught in the bay and you would think it was a young black male in Georgetown after midnight. The report said that the Maryland Department of Natural Resources is 'monitoring the situation.' We just hope one of their officers does not say that it is 'unusual for a Chinese Mitten Crab to be among the blue crabs in the bay.' Although the crustacean is considered to be a delicacy in China, prized for aphrodisiac qualities of the female crab's ovaries, it is being shunned here. And although our Blue Crabs bury themselves in sediment and banks, it appears to be held against the CMC. Heaven forbid there might be some intermixing between Chinese Mitten Crabs and Chesapeake Bay Blue Crabs. (Washington Post article)

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