Crayfish are an ocean-friendly seafood staple of the south because they can be farmed in a way that has minimal negative impacts on the environment. A vast majority of crayfish farmed in the US come from Louisiana were they are a native species. Crayfish have a sweet flavor that is great for soups or salads. Of course they are also delicious on there own for a traditional crayfish boil.

Also known as:

Crawdads, crawfish, mud bugs

Availability:

Year-round

Product forms:

Live, whole

Shopping tips:

The majority of live crayfish are farmed in the US but frozen crayfish may be imported and farmed in ways that are not as environmentally beneficial. Be sure to look for US farm-raised crayfish.

Substitutions:

Dungeness crab

Recipe:

Crayfish and chorizo soup

Crayfish farming: Crayfish can be grown either as either a monoculture or in crop rotation with agricultural crops such as rice. More.

Conservation notes:

US farm-raised crayfish are an ocean-friendly choice because they can be farmed in a way that does not significantly. More.
Last updated: June 2010

Crayfish Farming

Crayfish are grown in shallow ponds. These ponds only need to be stocked initially, since the crayfish will reproduce naturally in the ponds, replacing those harvested for food. The crayfish feed on plant material that grows naturally in the pond until they reach market size. Harvesting occurs by placing baited traps in the middle of ponds to attract crayfish, similar to a wild-capture method. Crayfish can be farmed either in a monoculture (farms that just grow crayfish) or in crop rotation with agricultural crops such as rice.

Conservation Notes

US farm-raised crayfish are an ocean-friendly choice because they can be farmed on agricultural land or in crop rotation. This means that crayfish aquaculture does not significantly impact or alter sensitive habitats. Furthermore, by feeding on agricultural scraps crayfish do not require supplemental feed. Crayfish also do not require the use of chemicals or antibiotics to control disease. Crayfish can be a highly invasive species, and cause significant habitat impacts when introduced to non-native ecosystems. However, the majority of US farmed crayfish are farmed in areas where they already occur as a native species. Whenever possible buy US farm raised crayfish.