Prawn with 16-inch limbs arrives in Port of Felixstowe

The team at the Port of Felixstowe inspected the macrobrachium rosenbergii during an inspection on May 4. 

The team at the Port of Felixstowe inspected the macrobrachium rosenbergii during an inspection on May 4. - Credit: SCPHA

A long-limbed visitor to the Port of Felixstowe certainly caught the inspector's attention during a routine check. 

On Wednesday, May 4, Suffolk Coastal Port Health Authority's (SCPHA) fish inspector was greeted with a macrobrachium rosenbergii - or giant river prawn. 

The giant freshwater prawn is one of the biggest in the world and is known to grow anywhere between 30 and 50cm.

The SCPHA provides essential health checks on food and animal-related import to the Port of Felixstowe, Harwich International Port and ABP Port of Ipswich. 

The team's job is to ensure consignments are fit for human consumption and use by upholding high food standards, ship sanitation certification and infectious disease control.

This prawn's legs were a particular drawing point, measuring around 16 inches in length. 

The team at the Port of Felixstowe inspected the macrobrachium rosenbergii during an inspection on May 4. 

The team at the Port of Felixstowe inspected the macrobrachium rosenbergii during an inspection on May 4. - Credit: SCPHA

SCPHA wrote on Twitter: "At Suffolk Coastal Port Health Authority, we see imports every day that look like aliens from a galaxy far, far away..."

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The macrobrachium rosenbergii had been transported to the port for human consumption. 

The teams have three types of inspections and for the consignment the river prawn was on, it was part of a 10% sample seen by the team for a routine check before sent on to shore.

A SCPHA spokesman said: "It could have gone by us as we look at 10% of the consignment. We're lucky to have found him."