Alarm sounded over dead crabs at protected lagoon

Alarm sounded over dead crabs at protected lagoon

Local media in the northwestern Peloponnesian prefecture of Ilia are sounding the alarm after thousands of crabs were found washed up on the shores of a protected lagoon some 45 kilometers from the port city of Patra.

According to a report on the website of Patris newspaper on Tuesday morning, weekend visitors to the otherwise picturesque Kotychi Lagoon were met with the stench of decay and the sight of thousands of crabs rotting on the banks of the wetland.

“No one, for the time being, can say with any certainty whether this is the result of some disease or some kind of environmental pollution, or whether it is due to a human intervention that trapped these crab populations and prevented them from finding escape or whether it is a consequence of the climate crisis that is responsible for the sudden change in the temperature of the sea,” the report said, calling for an immediate inquiry into the incident by the relevant authorities.

Kotychi Lagoon covers an area of 3.7 kilometers on the Ionian Sea and is an important wetland that is protected under the Ramsar Convention and under the European Union’s Natura 2000 network.

A part of the Strofylia National Park, it is rich in fish, reptiles and amphibians, and is also regarded as an important breeding, staging and wintering site for waterbirds.

The dead crabs may belong to the invasive Callinectes sapidus (Blue crab) species.

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