Today’s Editorial for June 10: Stop invasive species

For
people who know about eating boiled or steamed crayfish the news that the
creatures have been found in ponds at the Botanic Park may be welcomed news.

That
is if government agencies in charge agree to let folks harvest the invasive
species and cook them up.

It
may be a solution to ridding Grand Cayman of the potential pest.

But
the fact that the mudbugs found their way to Grand Cayman in the first place is
a bit worrying.

It
is believed that the blue crayfish came to Cayman via water plant matter. A
scientist on the case says the creatures are ‘easily overlooked’.

The
worrying part is what other creatures are easily overlooked when plants are
imported?

Over
the years the Caymanian Compass has heard tales from various plant merchants of
finding shedded snake skins in some flora brought in from Florida, which is
rife with poisonous snakes.

Yes,
there are measures in place to inspect imported plant matter, but the presence
of the blue crayfish only proves the point that some species do fall through
the cracks.

And
that’s not good.

While
the blue crayfish isn’t considered a voracious predator like its cousin that
has had a severe impact on the food chain in other areas of the world, we
frankly don’t know what the critter is capable of destroying on Grand Cayman.

It’s
obvious the crayfish are spreading, although it is believed they have so far
been contained only to ponds at the Botanic Park.

With
the upcoming wet and predicting heavy hurricane season is it possible that the
crayfish could spread even further throughout Grand Cayman.

Invasive
species of any sort is not good for any environment.

While
it is possible that the blue crayfish won’t do any damage to our environment,
we just don’t know at this point what it is capable of doing.

We
already have the green iguana, which competes with our native Blue Iguanas for
space, water and food.

If
the mudbugs do spread, get out the cook pots.