Giant Prawns Threaten Gulf Coast

The Asian tiger prawn can grow up to 13 inches long.

Tuesday, Dec 27, 2011  |  Updated 1:03 PM CDT
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Giant Prawns Threaten Gulf Coast

A gigantic, alien species of prawn is beginning to appear in Texas coastal waters, posing a threat to native species of shrimp and crab.

A gigantic, alien species of prawn is beginning to appear in Texas coastal waters, posing a threat to native species of shrimp and crab.

The Asian tiger prawn is a foot-long crustacean that not only devours the same food as their smaller shrimp but also dine on their smaller cousins, as well as crab and young oysters.

The Texas Sea Grant program at Texas A&M University reports three tiger prawns have been found in Aransas Bay north of Corpus Christi, one in Sabine Lake at the Louisiana border, and one in the Gulf of Mexico 70 miles off the Freeport coast.

Leslie Hartman of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department tells the Houston Chronicle that "it has the potential to be real ugly, but we just don't know."

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