Crawfish, Red Swamp

Procambarus clarkii

Method of production — Farmed
Production country — China
Production method — Extensive pond and rice paddy
Picture of Crawfish, Red Swamp

Sustainability rating three info

Sustainability overview

The Red Swamp Crayfish are farmed in large volumes in China where they are produced in either agricultural ponds or in rotation with rice crops. Crayfish farming does not require feed or chemical inputs. Escapees from ponds are common and this is a concern in Chinese production as it is a non-native species. Escaped crayfish have caused ecosystem damage by reducing the abundance of native fish and plant life.

Biology

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.

Management

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Production method

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.

References

FAO Aquaculture Species Factsheets: http://www.fao.org/fishery/culturedspecies/Procambarus_clarkii/en

Monterey Bay Aquarium, Seafood Watch: Farmed Crayfish report 2005.

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

Fleury & Sherry, 1995. httpp://www.jstor.org/pss/4088678