New Russian methods of culture, maintenance, transportation and growing of crabs and other crustaceans

May 3, 2007 17:10

World aquaculture has grown significantly during the past half-century. Aquaculture continues to grow more rapidly than all other animal food-producing sectors. The contribution of aquaculture to global supplies of fish, crustaceans, mollusks and other aquatic animals continues to grow, increasing from year to year.

Modern aquaculture solves two problems in parallel:

  • Rearing of planting stock for introduction into natural environment to restore the fishing stocks.
  • The maintenance and rearing of hydrobionts for food.

In line with the global trends, the laboratory of crustacean reproduction of the Russian Federal Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography (VNIRO) has developed new methods of culture, maintenance, transportation and growing of crabs and other crustaceans.

The techniques are not only instrumental in the culture of the highly valuable species but will also help provide the consumer with premium quality live product.

Red King Crab (Paralithodes camtschaticus)

Cultivation of red king crab includes three directions:

  • Artificial reproduction and rearing of red king crab to viable juvenile stage for restoring the natural population;
  • Maintenance of market-size crabs for subsequent sending to the consumer alive.
  • Ongrowing of sub-standard crabs to increase the fullness ratio.


Researchers from crustacean reproduction laboratory (VNIRO, Moscow) have developed and patented original technology of red king crab's artificial cultivation. Created technology allows us to increase survival rate of juveniles in several  times in comparison with natural environmental conditions. Under the established specifications the survival rate of red king crab's larvae up to juvenile makes 20 - 25%.

Maintenance and growing

The maintenance of live red king crabs will allow to have fresh raw material all the year round the demand for which is intensively growing.

Experts from laboratory of crustacean reproduction (VNIRO, Moscow) have created technology and specifications of maintenance of market-size crabs and growing of sub-standard individuals up to optimum fullness ratio.

Several different technological variants were developed and tested:

  • Maintenance in tank complexes with the closed recirculation system of water supply, with use of mechanical and biological systems of artificial seawater treatment.
  • Maintenance in tank complexes with the running system of water supply providing continuous flow of fresh seawater.
  • Pasturable maintenance in high seas cages.


There is a great demand today for live crabs. In that case, an effective technology of transportation of market-size individuals and larvae of the red king crab and other coldwater crustaceans at considerable distances was developed and tested. Duration of live crab transportation in proper conditions can make 24 hours and more.

Freshwater Giant Prawn (Macrobrachium rosenbergii)

Several different technological variants were developed:

  • In the open fish-breeding ponds in the south areas of the country during summer time;
  • In cages, pools and ponds on warm waste waters of power objects;
  • In pools with closed recirculation system of water supply.

            Experts from VNIRO have created and patented the technology of rearing of qualitative planting stock of the freshwater giant prawn, the technology of the maintenance of adult individuals.

Freshwater Crayfish (Pontastacus leptodactylus and Procambarus clarkii)

Special biotechnical bases of artificial reproduction and commodity cultivation of fresh-water crayfish in fishponds and tank complexes were created and developed. In addition, red swamp crayfish's (Procambarus clarkii) cultivation technology in the closed recirculation system of water supply was created.

The following work is carried out by experts from laboratory of crustacean reproduction (VNIRO)

  • Rendering of assistance in choosing a site and the equipment for the organization of complex
  • Development of the necessary documentation (the technical project, investment plan) on the objects of commercial aquaculture.
  • Scientific and technical support at all stages of realization of the project.
  • Training the personnel, including operating farms.

More information from:
Russian Federal Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography (VNIRO)
Laboratory of crustacean reproduction
17 V. Krasnoselskaya str, Moscow, 107140, Russia
Phone/fax: +7 499 264 6122

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