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CBP Prevents Smuggling of Nearly 900 Pounds of Invasive Mitten Crabs

Release Date: 
October 31, 2018

CINCINNATI—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists discovered hundreds of pounds of invasive Chinese mitten crabs on October 16 while conducting routine inspection operations at a local express consignment facility. 

Mitten Crabs
This seizure of mitten crabs is the third
interception of mitten crabs by CBP's
Chicago Field Office in the past month.

During examinations of incoming Chinese freight, specialists noted x-ray anomalies in 16 separate shipments, all which were labeled as various types of clothing. Once the specialists opened the boxes they found thousands of live crustaceans, all destined for residences in New York. 

In Asia, mitten crabs are considered a seasonal delicacy; however, their disastrous impact on other global habitats has earned them a place on the Invasive Species Specialist Group’s list of “100 of the World’s Worst Invasive Alien Species.”  

“Our agriculture specialists and officers work closely with other federal agencies to protect our natural resources,” said CBP Supervisory Agriculture Specialist Barbara Hassan. “In this case, cooperative efforts with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) prevented the introduction of a highly invasive and destructive species into our ecosystem.”

Per FWS regulations all shipments were refused entry into the United States and all violations are currently under review.

 Nationwide, CBP agriculture specialists intercepted more than 352 pests and 4,638 quarantine materials on any given day in Fiscal Year 2017.

 CBP’s dual mission is to facilitate legitimate trade and travel in the United States while securing the nation’s borders. To find out more about U.S. Customs and Border Protection in the Cincinnati area, visit @CBPChicago on Twitter.

Last modified: 
November 1, 2018