Abundance and distribution of an invasive crab species (blue crab, Callinectes sapidus Rathbun, 1896) in NW Greece

Costas Perdikaris, Evangelos Konstantinidis, Evangelia Gouva, Anna Ergolavou, Dimitris Klaoudatos, Cosmas Nathanailides, Ioannis Paschos
The present work aims to review and depict the current status of this invasive species along the Ionian coastal zone of the eastern Adriatic and to assess its invasive potential of the species. Blue crab has a long invasion history in the Mediterranean Sea. The available data on the species occurrence in the western Adriatic region of Ionian coast is scarce and fragmented. The proximity of most of the estuaries and lagoons to local ports and to the shipping routes, as well as the
more » ... sal ability of the adults indicate that range expansion will continue. The abundance and distribution of the species in the region was estimated with the use of a decision support tool (Marine Invertebrate Invasiveness Screening Kit , v1.19). The observed impacts are discussed along with urgent mitigation priorities.. Measures to limit the expansion of this invasive species, may include the management of ballast waters, for example by a strict implementation of ballast water management plan, the use of ballast water record book. The importance of ballast water management is further highlighted by the existence of numerous ports with the capacity to serve ships with ballast tanks in close proximity to the recipient ecosystems and by the significance of the Ionian shipping route