The coffee shrimp, an invader that can affect the native shrimp population
The coffee shrimp, also known as coffee shrimp, is an invasive species that arrived a few years ago in the Ebro delta from the waters of Turkey. Their presence may represent a risk for the native shrimp population, as has already happened in other places in the Mediterranean such as the Gulf of Taranto.
Diversity of invasive species in the Ebro Delta
The Ebro Delta has had to deal with several invasive species in recent years, with impacts at different levels on the ecosystem and the economy of the area. Some recent examples include the tiger mosquito, the zebra mussel, the apple snail or the blue crab.
The coffee prawn, a beneficial species for fishermen
Patricia Pardo, associate professor at the Catholic University of Valencia and professor at the IEPAAC (Professional Aquatic and Environmental Studies of Catalonia), maintains that despite being invasive, the coffee shrimp is valued by fishermen. According to Pardo, most of the large individuals are found in the sea and the smaller ones live closer to the coast.
Catch of brown prawns without negative impact on fishing nets
The capture of these individuals, unlike the blue crab, does not damage fishing nets and allows fishermen to sell more product without suffering any losses.
Differences between coffee prawn and white prawn
Although the coffee prawn has inhabited the coasts of the Ebro Delta for years, it is not until now that it has begun to be distinguished from the white prawn. Both species are very similar and until now were sold together in the market. Both white shrimp and coffee shrimp are species that can be traded legally, and the only difference between their separate distribution is that the price may vary slightly.
The Department of Climate Action has commissioned a study to confirm the presence of a new species of langoustine in marine and brackish waters of the Terres de l’Ebre to the Catalan Institute for Research for the Governance of the Sea (ICATMAR). The study of young specimens on the coasts is still ongoing, but indications suggest that the trend will continue to be the same during the coming months.