MOSCOW, June 1. /TASS/. Russia’s Federal Agency for Fishery (Rosrybolovstvo) has denied media reports that an invasive species of crabs, a Chinese mitten crab, has inhabited the Moskva River that flows through the Russian capital.
"Fishing inspectors in Moscow and the Moscow Region <…> who are on round-the-clock duty at various bodies of water in territories under their jurisdiction, have never came across this species," a spokesperson for the federal agency told TASS on Friday. "Besides, no reports of spotting any unusual fauna have so far been received from amateur fishers or other citizens."
"Due to certain peculiarities of the crab’s life cycle, life span and migration to new territories, it is highly unlikely that viable and self-sustaining groups of the Chinese mitten crab appear in the Moskva River, under conditions that are far from being its natural habitat," the source added.
According to the official, Chinese mitten crabs are normally found in freshwater, but need seawater to reproduce. Therefore, they are typically found in river estuaries, which cannot be found in Moscow or its outskirts.
Rosrybolovstvo requests Moscow residents to inform the authorities about any unusual species found in local lakes and rivers.