Hairy crabs

Mystery buyer sets free 33,000 crabs in China

BEIJING – A mystery buyer in eastern China’s Zhejiang province spent 1.2 million yuan ($188,660) buying hairy crabs and set them free in a local river, but the city’s fisheries authority said the act – though well-intentioned – could have disastrous consequences on the aquatic ecosystem.

Rumors began to circulate several days ago in Hangzhou that a Chinese was buying up hairy crabs – an estimated 33,000 in total that weighed about five tonnes – according to the Qianjiang Evening Post.

The buyer paid cash and loaded the crabs into a van to release them in the Qiantang River. The wholesale market authority said they could not intervene because the buyer was not manipulating prices.

But the fisheries authority said that at this time of year crabs in the wild were migrating to lay eggs. Putting so many into the water would disrupt the migrating pattern, it said. The crabs could also be carrying bacteria that the aquatic life had not been exposed to.


NEO Monitoring Desk

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