Invasive blue crab wreaks havoc in the French Med

In the waters of France's Canet-Saint-Nazaire lake, fisherman are fighting for their livelihoods.

The enemy: An invasive species of blue crab.

The crustaceans are wreaking havoc on the populations of eels, oysters and mussels, which are key for economic activity in the area.

Native to North American Atlantic waters, the crabs were brought to the Mediterranean in the ballast waters of commercial ships in 2017.

Since then, the population of the fast growing omnivores has been booming in the area.

Fisherman Yves Rougie was hoping for a net of eels - instead it is full of blue crab.

"Oh yes, before for eels like these, we were getting 10 to 15 kilos, or sometimes 40 to 50 kilos per fishing trip."

Whilst in the U.S. blue crab can fetch $90 per kilogram, there is little appetite for them amongst French diners - a kilogram is only worth a little over $2.

This means fisherman like Rougie can only sell a small percentage of their catch, with the rest being thrown away.

Local authorities have advised fisherman to keep catching the crabs as a way to control the population. But Rougie says this is an impossible task.

"A female blue crab lays 2 million eggs, that's huge. Even if only 5 or 8 percent hatch, their species can survive. And there's quite a lot of females, and I can tell you that eggs are now scattered around, so that's the problem. The problem is that they (government) should at least give us subsidies to work on this and eradicate them."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting