Man fined for importing highly invasive crabs

Mitten crabs are a highly invasive species. -
Mitten crabs are a highly invasive species.
— image credit:

A man who tried to smuggle 17 crabs inside a large cardboard box through the Vancouver International Airport last year was recently fined in Richmond provincial court .

Wei Guo Chen arrived at the airport on Sept. 30, 2010 and declared in writing and with his signature that he was not bringing any animals into Canada.

But during a secondary examination by the Canada Border Services Agency, an officer found a basket containing 17 live mitten crabs inside a large cardboard box which Chen was carrying on his luggage cart.

The importation of live mitten crab of the genus Eriocheir is prohibited under the Fish Inspection Regulations, agency spokesperson Jennifer Bourque said.

Mitten crab is a highly invasive species that can both affect human health and case major ecological and economic damage.

Eating raw or poorly cooked mitten crabs can cause people and mammals to become infested with a parasite that can cause tuberculosis and influenza-like symptoms. In some cases, it may be life-threatening.

In Richmond provincial court late last month, Chen pled guilty and was fined $2,000.

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