A court in England has issued fines and penalties of £28 220 to two Buddhists for releasing 361 American Lobsters, Homarus americanus, and 35 Dungeoness Crabs, Metacarcinus magister, (also an American species, named after Dungeoness in Washington State, not the headland of the same name in Kent) into the English Channel. Zhixiong Li and Ni Li were charged at Brighton Magistrates Court on 20 September 2017 under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, for releasing the animals obtained from a Fish merchant in London and released at a Buddhist ceremony in Brighton on 15 June 2017.
An Amercican Lobster, Homarus americanus, caught on the coast of Maine. Monique Meadows/Lobsterland.
The majority of the Crustaceans are thought to have been recaptured swiftly, due to the prompt actions of Marine Management Organisation who were alerted to the problem by members of the party and worked with local fishermen to recover the animals.
A Dungeoness Crab, Metacarcinus magister. Biodiversity of the Central Coast.
Dungeoness Crabs are native to the Pacific coast of North America, but have been introduced to the Atlantic, and have become established from Alabama to North Carolina, making the species of great concern to conservationists elsewhere. American Lobsters are native to the east coast of America, and have not yet become established elsewhere. However it is known to be host to a wide variety of parasite species, which could potentially infect native Crustaceans.
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