A new species of crab found by scientists of the National Institute of Oceanography in the Zuari estuary while carrying out research on a Ballast Water Management Programme has been named Charybdis goaensis, after Goa.
The Ballast Water Management Programme being carried out for Director General Shipping involves identifying the existing species in the territory so that other species brought there through the ballast water can be recognized.
While filling the ballast tanks with water, a lot of the marine life from that region is also taken in and then subsequently when the ballast water is released at a different port, the marine life is also released in new surroundings.
As part of the research, scientists selected 39 trawling stations in Goa to collect the indigenous species for identification. Sampling was done in these areas for three years from 2005 to 2007.
The new species of crab was caught in the trawl operations in Zuari estuary and the scientists noticed that it was different and hence submitted the claim of a new species.
However they were advised to check whether it was the same as Charybdis philippinensis found in Phillipines and it was only after a further one year’s research to prove that the species was indeed a different one, that the claim was recognized.
Charybdis goaensis has a light brown carapace and is currently found in the Zuari estuary and off shore fishing grounds of Goa.