Dorset

Weymouth welcomes giant Japanese spider crab

  • 15 February 2011
  • From the section Dorset
Crab Kong being placed in tank
Image caption The crab was caught by fishermen in Suruga Bay, southwest of Tokyo

A Japanese spider crab believed to be the biggest seen in Britain has gone on display.

Named Crab Kong, he has a claw span of more than 8ft (2.4m), weighs 15kg (33lb) and is 30-40 years old.

The male spider crab was caught earlier this month by fishermen in Suruga Bay, south west of Tokyo.

The crab is on display at the Weymouth Sea Life Park but will be transferred to a permanent home at a Sea Life centre in Munich, Germany, at Easter.

The crabs are commonly found in the Pacific in 1,000 ft (300m) deep waters but have been known to live deeper.

Sea Life biologist Robin James, who visited that part of Japan, was contacted by the fishermen.

"Getting in an animal as impressive as Crab Kong is the aquarium equivalent of signing Ronaldo.

"Giving people a chance to witness first hand one of the many wonders of the deep oceans helps boost support for marine conservation," he said.

In the wild, Japanese spider crabs can achieve a leg-span of over 12ft (3.7m). They can weigh as much as 19kg (41lb) and may live 100 years.

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