On the occurrence of the blue crab Callinectes sapidus (Rathbun, 1896) in Sardinian coastal habitats (Italy): a present threat or a future resource for the regional fishery sector?
The capture of a male specimen of blue crab Callinectes sapidus (Rathbun, 1896) in the coastal waters of Matzaccara, Sardinia, Italy (South-Western Mediterranean Sea, 39°11′ N; 8°43′ E) is reported with morphometric data. The crab was collected by local small-scale fishery operators and brought to the attention of the Sardinian Forest Ranger Service/Environmental Surveillance and professional scientists. This record confirms the spread of this species in the south-western coastal habitats of Sardinia (Italy). The ongoing expansion of C. sapidus and its first appearance in the Sardinian fish market highlight the need for official sampling campaigns to update the population size of this non-indigenous species and evaluate its potential influence on the regional fishery sector. Control and mitigation of the ecological impact of C. sapidus can be coordinated with its possible exploitation as a future resource for the regional fishery sector.