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Tiger Shrimp Are Jumbo Threat to Native Species

from San Francisco Chronicle

New Orleans (Associated Press) -- A big increase in reports of Asian tiger shrimp along the U.S. Southeast coast and in the Gulf of Mexico has federal biologists worried the species is encroaching on native species' territory.

The black-and-white-striped shrimp can grow 13 inches long and weigh a quarter-pound, compared to 8 inches and a bit over an ounce for domestic white, brown and pink shrimp. Scientists fear the tigers will bring disease and competition for native shrimp.

Shrimp are all bottom feeders, eating detritus and small animals. Bigger shrimp would eat more and these get so big they also eat small shrimp and fish, marine ecologist James A. Morris said. Reports of tiger shrimp in U.S. waters rose from a few dozen a year - 21 in 2008, 47 in 2009 and 32 in 2010 - to 331 last year, from North Carolina to Texas.

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