crayfish

Why Brits Should Love Crayfish

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Crayfish is quickly dominating British waters, however, we are struggling to introduce it in our diet. Compared to crayfish communities around the world, the UK is lacking.

State of Crayfish in the UK

In the UK, there are 2 types of crayfish: native crayfish and invasive crayfish. Across the country, our native crayfish (white-clawed) is being driven through the spread of the invasive crayfish (signal crayfish). Signal crayfish are becoming bigger, faster, and reproducing quickly compared to the native white-clawed crayfish.

In fact, there are many problems that are being caused by the growing population of the signal crayfish. This species of crayfish are impacting our environment as when they habituate, they can destabilise water banks, cause erosion and bank collapse, increase flood risk and silt load in the water. As a result, other species of British wildlife are suffering, including the Water Vole.

So with the problem of the invasive crayfish in the UK, what can we do about it? Well, the answer is to eat them! The UK has the opportunity to embrace the delicious taste of crayfish. Often considered a luxury in British homes, the abundance of invasive crayfish offers the chance to try this seafood in tasty and exciting ways. Britain should take inspiration from Sweden and Australia who love crayfish and celebrate it.

Crazy for Crayfish

In Sweden, there is a big culture focused on crayfish. There is even an annual crayfish party! These parties are held in August to commemorate the traditional crayfish season of Sweden. As you can imagine, the point of crayfish parties is to celebrate this delicious seafood so the focus is around eating, drinking, and lots of fun. This tradition is trickling its way into other countries such as Finland.

Across the globe, the Australians truly embrace their crayfish culture. Known here as ‘yabbies’, crayfish can often be found in the home kitchens and restaurants of the country. From catching to cooking, the ‘yabby’ is a fresh and sweet delicacy.

Now is the perfect time for the UK to get excited about crayfish. Celebrate good flavour whilst looking after our environment and British wildlife! Looking for some culinary inspiration? Try these tasty summer rolls with Asian flavours!

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