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Freshwater Crayfish 12(1): 890-898 (1999)


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Freshwater crayfish in the fishery legislation of the federal states (Bundesländer) of Germany

Von Lukowicz M  e-mail link

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In Germany, the native crayfish species Astacus astacus (noble crayfish), Austropotamobius torrentium (stone crayfish) and Austropotamobius pallipes (white-clawed crayfish) are subject to the fishery laws and regulations of the federal states which include regulations for their protection and utilization. The noble crayfish and stone crayfish are additionally protected by the Federal Nature Conservation and Protection Act (NCPA) and the Federal Species Protection Ordinance (SPO). Several alien crayfish species have been introduced into German waters and have established self-perpetuating populations: Astacus leptodactylus (narrow-clawed crayfish), Orconectes limosus (spiny-cheek crayfish), Pacifastacus leniusculus (signal crayfish), and Procambarus clarkii (red swamp crayfish). These species are now considered as naturalized and have to be treated like the native crayfish according to the NCPA which is contradictory to efforts regarding protection of the native species. On the other hand, fishery and stocking of both native and introduced species are regulated by the fishery acts and ordinances of the federal states. The conflict between these various laws and regulations should be solved by subjecting the crayfish to the fishery laws alone. In general, native species can be introduced into natural waters without restrictions. Release of alien crayfish is normally prohibited and requires special permission of the responsible authorities.

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Von Lukowicz M. (1999). Freshwater crayfish in the fishery legislation of the federal states (Bundesländer) of Germany. Freshwater Crayfish 12(1):890-898. doi:



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