Friday, December 23, 2011

40,000 hairy crabs released in Yangtze

THE city government yesterday freed 40,000 hairy crabs into the mouth of Yangtze River near the Qingcaosha Reservoir, the first step in a five-year campaign to repair the ecosystem to improve the water quality in the reservoir that provides tap water for millions of residents.

The hairy crabs will help establish a complete food chain in the river to help more fish and other aquatic animals survive in the river, Zhuang Ping, deputy director of the East China Sea Fisheries Research Institute under the Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences, told Shanghai Daily yesterday.

The released crabs, about half female and half male, will eat plankton while some of their offspring will become food for meat-eating fish higher in the food chain, said Zhuang, who is leading the water-improvement program.

"The better ecosystem the water has, the better its water quality will be," he said.

With a capacity of 438 million cubic meters, the reservoir is providing tap water to about 10 million local residents.

The government yesterday launched the restoration project with a total investment of 33.5 million yuan.

Some other fish, including Chinese sturgeons, perch and saury, that are rare in the area now will be put into the river in the future, he said. Read More