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Freshwater Crayfish 12(1): 506-517 (1999)


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The current stats of crayfish farming in Italy

D'Agaro E, De Luise G and Lanari D  e-mail link

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The growing interest in freshwater crayfish products in Italy is due to their high culinary characteristics, high prices and increasing market demand. The introduction of new species of parastacids from Australia like Cherax destructor Clark, 1936 and Cherax quadricarinatus (von Martens, 1868) with excellent feed conversion, growth and fecundity rates can offer the operators the possibility to culture alternative species of commercial interest. The annual freshwater crayfish production in Italy is about 30-40 tonnes per year, mainly from Astacus astacus (Linnaeus, 1758), Astacus leptodactylus Eschscholtz, 1823, Procambarus clarkii (Girard, 1852) and C. destructor in about 10 small astacifactories. The market price for A. astacus ranges between 20-26 US$/kg and for A. leptodactylus it is 10-13 US$/kg for the commercial size and 0.5–0.7 US$ per head for restocking. According to an ISMEA (Istituto Studi Mercato Agricolo) statistic report, 959 tonnes of freshwater crayfish were imported into Italy in 1995 and 127 t were exported. In the near future it seems that there is room for an additional increase in astaciculture production from new intensive or semi-intensive farms at the expense of the low profit margin traditional freshwater production. At the same time, it will be advisable to carry out targeted surveys to quantify and qualify native Italian crayfish populations of the species Austropotamobius pallipes italicus (Faxon, 1914) and Austropotamobius torrentium (Schrank, 1803) in order to apply stricter protection and conservation policies.

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D'Agaro E, De Luise G and Lanari D. (1999). The current stats of crayfish farming in Italy. Freshwater Crayfish 12(1):506-517. doi:



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