Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats - Standing Committee

Recommendation No. 18 (1989) of the standing committee on the protection of indigenous crayfish in Europe (Adopted by the Standing Committee on 8 December 1989)

The Standing Committee of the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats, acting under the terms of Article 14 of the convention,

Having regard to the aims of the convention to conserve wild flora and fauna and their natural habitats;

Having regard to Recommendation (86) 10 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe concerning the Charter on Invertebrates;

Recalling that three species of crayfish are listed in Appendix III to the convention (Astacus astacus, Austropotamobius pallipes and Austropotamobius torrentium);

Recalling that Article 7, paragraph 2, of the convention provides that any exploitation of wild fauna specified in Appendix III shall be regulated in order to keep the populations out of danger, taking into account the requirement of Article 2;

Recalling that Article 7, paragraph 3, of the convention provides that measures to be taken shall include the temporary or local prohibition of exploitation, as appropriate, in order to restore satisfactory population levels, and the regulation as appropriate of sale, keeping for sale or offering for sale of live and dead wild animals;

Having regard to Recommendation (84) 14 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe concerning the introduction of non-native species;

Recalling that Article 11, paragraph 2, of the convention provides that each Contracting Party undertakes so strictly control the introduction of non-native species;

Having been informed that the astacologists of the International Association of Astacology, meeting in its seventh International Symposium in Lausanne (Switzerland) in August 1987, noted the following:

– the damaging effects to live crayfish markets following the drastic decline in Turkish crayfish production;

– the marketing of new live crayfish species from many different places;

– the total absence of guarantees that such crayfish do not carry communicate parasites and diseases;

– the appearance of epidemics in European crayfish of aphanomycosis (the crayfish plague parasite), especially where it has not previously existed;

– the accrued risks of transmission of parasites and diseases, especially aphanomycosis, from other crayfish populations to native crayfish;

– the grave menace to native crayfish and sometimes amphibian populations from the introduction of undesirable exotic crayfish; and

– the potential for exposing fish to diseases and parasites borne by crayfish;

Aware that indigenous crayfish species of Europe require special conservation attention.

Recommends that Contracting Parties to the convention:

1. Take necessary and appropriate measures to protect their indigenous crayfish species;

2. Encourage whenever needed the restoration of native crayfish stocks, mainly by the temporary or local prohibition of exploitation;

3. Regulate that sale, keeping for sale, transport for sale or offering for sale of live crayfish;

4. Ensure wherever practicable that live crayfish, used for restocking or reintroduction purposes, are parasite and disease free;

5. Forbid the introduction of non-native crayfish into the wild. Where introduction in the wild has already taken place, all necessary steps should be taken in order to prohibit the release of non-native crayfish in areas where they may cause negative effects on the environment.



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