Crawfish, Red Swamp
Production country — US Southern states
Production method — Extensive pond and rice paddy
The US Southern States are a large producer of crayfish most of which is farmed for domestic consumption. It is a naturally occurring wild species whose stock status is stable, however as crayfish brood their young farming does not require the collection of wild stocks. Farms are usually sited in areas of low sensitivity and the production of crayfish does not require chemical or feed inputs. US farmed red swamp crayfish is a sustainable farmed seafood choice.
A member of the Cambaridae family, the Red Swamp Crawfish is commonly found in warm, fresh water. This is considered to be an "ecologically plastic" species as it can grow quickly even in areas with dry periods lasting up to four months. The average lifespan is five years and in this time weights of over 50g and lengths of 5 to 12cm can be reached. This is an omnivorous species feeding on insects, larvae and detritus. Sexually mature from 6cm the females dig burrows to lay their eggs in and will protect the young for eight weeks. Recent research suggests that the females may be able to reproduce through parthenogenesis.
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Extensive pond and rice paddy
The red swamp crayfish are farmed in agricultural ponds or in rotation with a crop, usually rice. After harvesting the crop the land is flooded to create a pond in which the crayfish grow.
Based on method of production, fish type, and consumer rating: only fish rated 2 and below are included as an alternative in the list below. Click on a name to show the sustainable options available.Abalone
Clam, Manila (Farmed)
Clam, Manila, Japanese carpet shell (Caught at sea)
Clam, Razor, clams
Crab, brown or edible
Crab, velvet swimming
Crawfish, Red Swamp
Crayfish or crawfish
Lobster, Mexican Baja California Red Rock
Lobster, Norway, Langoustine, Dublin Bay prawn or scampi
Lobster, Western Australian Rock
Mussel, mussels (Caught at sea)
Mussel, mussels (Farmed)
Oyster, Native, oysters (Caught at sea)
Oyster, Native, oysters (Farmed)
Oyster, Pacific, oysters
Prawn, Endeavour, Greasy back
Prawn, King (whiteleg), prawns
Prawn, Northern, prawns
Prawn, Tiger, prawns
Scallop, Queen, scallops
Squid, Japanese flying
ReferencesFAO Aquaculture Species Factsheets: http://www.fao.org/fishery/culturedspecies/Procambarus_clarkii/en
New England Aquarium:http://www.neaq.org/conservation_and_research/projects/fisheries_bycatch_aquaculture/sustainable_fisheries/celebrate_seafood/ocean-friendly_seafood/species/crayfish.php#conservation
Monterey Bay Aquarium, Seafood Watch: Farmed Crayfish report 2005.