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Ironically, each time the UK's invasive crayfish receive publicity the sales of imported Chinese crayfish increase. The public purchase this crayfish tail-meat by the tonne, often unaware that the only thing that comes from the UK is the brine or flavour enhancer added during packaging. Vendors and producers of these Chinese crayfish products have often misled the public into thinking that they were UK caught crayfish. Laws on labeling have tightened but producers still dress the product up as “wild” and “sustainable”. These claims may be true, but tell us nothing about the quality of the crayfish, or rather, lack of quality. The Chinese export is Procambarus clarkii - the Red Swamp crayfish. Originally from Louisiana, these crayfish are said to have arrived in China nearly 100 years ago. They have since been spread over vast areas and have been a significant Chinese export since the 1980’s. Wikipedia will tell you that:- “most crayfish cannot tolerate polluted water, although some species like Procambarus clarkii are hardier.” So this species do quite well in China’s polluted waters. Wild and sustainable, maybe, but do you want to eat them? Several times, Crayaway has been contacted from potential buyers in China looking for a supply from the UK. That says a lot to us about what the Chinese think of their own crayfish.   But they are cheap and it seems that many a Brit has no discerning palate, for the UK annually imports over 1,000 tonnes of this tail-meat and 7,000 tonnes of crayfish have to be trapped in China to produce it. In 2002 the Prêt a Manger order alone required over 400 tonne of Red Swamp crayfish. Pret a Manger are typical of the A quite unnecessary import and accompanying carbon-footprint while we have a far superior product right here in the UK and, what is more, a product that we need to remove. The question has been how to get rid of enormous quantities of invasive-crayfish, and the answer, surely, is to replace imported product with our own superior crayfish. If people bought homecaught produce that replaced even 20% of the quantity that we currently import, we would have a large-scale, cost-effective solution to our crayfish problem.


Chinise Crayfish
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