hinese social media users have eagerly stepped forward to help the United States with its potential invasive crab crisis, offering to devour all problematic crustaceans.
This selfless offer came after the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) issued a wanted order last month for Chinese mitten crabs appearing on the coasts of the US, due to their potential to do serious harm to the local environment.
In years past, the crabs have appeared in great numbers in the waters off California, in the Hudson River, and in the Chesapeake Bay. While there hasn’t been a sighting since 2014, officials at SERC are still concerned about being caught off-guard and launched a campaign this summer, reaching out to boaters, fishers, scientists, and government agencies, asking them to report in any sightings by calling the mitten crab hotline.
Selected as one of the world’s 100 worst invasive alien species, the Chinese mitten crab is a beloved delicacy in China, but a dangerous nuisance everywhere else, notorious for clogging water systems, disrupting fishing, and increasing riverbank erosion with their burrowing.
To help in this fight, Chinese netizens have offered their services, volunteering to travel to the US and eat any hairy crab that pops up. “The US should consider adding a ‘crab-eating’ visa for China,” wrote one netizen. “You want us to eat them until they are endangered or extinct? Just say the word,” commented another.
This is not the first time that environmentally-minded Chinese foodies have made such a selfless offer. Last year, netizens offered to head over to Denmark to deal with its invasive oyster problem. One heroic Sichuan woman did her part, gathering up 150 kg of oysters from a Danish beach.
[Images via SERT]