Hairy crabs in Taihu Lake, one of the most coveted autumn
delicacies for the Chinese and other Asian belly-gods, will be safe
to eat since they are free from the effects of a severe algae
outbreak in May, the government assured the public on Tuesday.
"The algae outbreak has not affected the quality of Taihu
crabs," the General Administration of Quality Supervision,
Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) said in an announcement.
"The crabs in the licensed breeding farms in east Taihu Lake
grow well and no abnormalities have been discovered," it said.
All the much prized crabs subject for exports come from breeding
farms registered at and long monitored by the local quality
supervision, inspection and quarantine authorities, a local
official in Jiangsu said.
The hairy crabs in Taihu Lake near Shanghai are famous for the
tender meat and tasty yolk (ovary and digestive glands). They are
exported to Japan, Republic of Korean and Hong Kong in a large
quantity in autumn every year.
The local authorities check the toxins and medicine residue in
the breeding process, and only the crabs that are confirmed safe
and properly marked will be exported, the official said.
The licensed breeding farms are more than 60 kilometers from the
water area once plagued by severe algae outbreak and therefore
unaffected, according to the official. The pollution led to cut-out
of water supply to nearby Wuxi City for days in the summer this
The local quality control departments have increased the
frequency of water quality checkups in east Taihu Lake to ensure
the quality of the hairy crabs.
Taihu Lake produces around 10,000 tons of hairy crabs each
(Xinhua News Agency September 5, 2007)