Crayfish – the unwanted invasive species in Egypt

Photo credit: Willy Oviedo Pereira (Uruguay)

Review: Abdel Rahman El Gamal (Founder of the website)

Crayfish in pond harvest (01) Crayfish grabing tilapia in pond harvest (02)



The inserted photos were taken in a fish farm located in Sharkia, Egypt. One of the photos shows the contribution of crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) to the pond harvest while the second photo shows how a specimen of crayfish while grabbing a tilapia fingerling using its claws.

Red swamp crayfish has been accidently introduced into Egypt by a private operation during late 1980s to early 1990s. Upon realizing that the species has no farming potential coinciding with the zero consumption as fishermen and consumers could not accept this weird animals; in fact artisanal fishermen developed negative attitude against crayfish and blaming them for the damage that occurs to their nets. Under such situation of almost zero consumption, the crayfish repopulated freely and were able to spread over larger bodies of water including fish ponds that seemed optimum for their well-beings. Only several years ago, some initiatives came from abroad attempting to process the catch of crayfish towards converting such unwanted guest into a useful product. Whether these attempts are partially or fully successful, some consumers began to try the crayfish even slowly but could improve in the future. This minor change in crayfish consumption led to place some value on the catch instead of throwing it away as was done in the past.


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