Success of young Australian red claw crayfish experimental cultivation

January 19, 2021 15:29

Australian red claw crayfish is being prepared for commercial Recirculating Aquaculture Systems aquaculture at Southern Russian areas, reports

Specialists of the Volga-Caspian branch of the Russian Federal Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography «VNIRO» (CaspNIRH) reported the summed up results of experimental work on growing young Australian red claw crayfish in a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) with the aim of forming a maintenance flock within BIOS Experimental Aquaculture Complex.

The crayfish is treated as a promising  crustacean, primarily because of its high growth rate. It can reach sale weight of 60-90g in 6-9 months. Although it is not sensitive to the conditions, the crayfish is temperature dependent as it is a tropical species. Optimum temperature range is 25 – 29C. Therefore, in the conditions of the South of Russia, the most promising cultivation method is considered to be combined - 8 months the crayfish is carried out in a RAS and 4 months in open ponds. The technology is relatively new and needs to be refined.

At the beginning of June 2020 various-age young crayfish were introduced for cultivation to the RAS. At the first stage, the youngs were planted on the trays with optimum landing density to reduce cannibalism. Detention conditions and weight monitoring  to calculate feeding rates were conducted. In August, some of the young crawfish were visually visible for male sexual signs - a soft red pigmented spot on a fixed claw finger.

The maintenance flock formation began at the second stage of cultivation. For this task, both immature and mature crayfishes were selected. Mature individuals were separated by size and weight, and placed to different trays with a certain gender ratio, thus reducing cannibalism risk and improving survival rate.

Further research will focus on obtaining sufficient planting material for the experimental production of Australian red claw crawfish by the pond method.



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