0525_(Translation Practice) shortage of shells for hermit crabs

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May 25, 2018 01:03 translation TC-to-EN
This is a practice Chinese-English translation.
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Source (text in the original language):

Professor Chiu Yuh-wen of National Cheng Kung University, during his trip to Taitung County’s Sanxiantai area last month to research the ecosystem of hermit crabs, recorded 14 Coenobita brevimanus using plastic waste as shells while only few had shells to use. However, those were also either broken or unable to be used as a shelter to cover the body.

He says that the shortage of shell sources has resulted in plastic waste being used as a substitute. Hermit crabs in many coastal areas are facing similar conditions, but just different in severity and aspect. Hermit crabs in Tainan as an instance, he says they also suffer from the difficulties of finding a shell, but they can use shells of Achatina fulica — a type of African land snail — as an alternative option because the area is close to farmlands and windbreaks. However, with snail shells being thin and too easy to break, they are not as usable as crab shells, which are a lot stronger.

He says that the slippery inner surface of a plastic cab makes it hard for a hermit crab to hook the body in it with its uropod(abdominal limb); and plastic cabs and broken shells don't serve as well as a natural crab shells, which allow them to hold a defensive position effectively using their big claws. This stops them from fighting against enemies effectively or preventing water from vaporizing from their bodies, not to mention the impact on female crabs' ability to take care of the offsprings.

He says that because shellfish are being overwhelmed by human hunting. The shells of these eatable shellfish don’t go back to the coasts after being eaten in a restaurant, which eventually caused shell shortage.

He said it is the most urgent to find them shells. He suggests setting a center at the entrance of the Sanxiantai area for shell collecting and then encouraging visitors to bring shells there. The essential solution is to strictly perform habitant protection, pollutions reduction, and the sustainable fishery industry management, and all of these actions can only be achieved with long-term effort.

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