Red Claw Crayfish
Australian Red Claw (Cherax quadricarinatus)
Another possible shrimp-like animal that can be cultured in freshwater is the Australian Red Claw Crayfish. It is one of the largest freshwater crayfish in the world. Average market sizes of 50 to 150 grams (1 pound = 454 grams) are achievable in 6-12 months. But they can exceed 300 grams each.
There are several sites on the web with fantastic claims for growth and production of Red Claw. But although Red Claw has potential for aquaculture in the Western Hemisphere in general, or the USA in particular, it has never developed as an industry. To the best of our knowledge, there are no longer any large commercial farms in the Americas.
Perhaps the greatest hurdle in the development of Red Claw culture as an industry is marketability. Some have suggested it as a substitute for Red Swamp Crayfish (the commercially important native species in the USA) during the summer or peak demand times. It may also succeed as a substitute lobster or as a "baby lobster". But true success as an industry may have to wait until Red Claw is properly marketed as its own unique product, as it is in Australia.
For further information on Red Claw culture we recommend the following publications, available from Miami Aquaculture, Inc.:
Red Claw Information Package / Curtis & Jones (Eds.), 1996. $29.99
The Biology and Aquaculture Potential of the Tropical Crayfish Cherax quadricarinatus / C.M. Jones, 1997. $35.99
Breeding Redclaw - Management & Selection of Broodstock / Jones et al., 1998. $25.99
Redclaw - From Harvest to Market: A Manual of Handling Procedures / Jones & Grady, 2000. $19.95
Redclaw Recipes/ 1999. $13.99
Live Red Claw Prices
Juveniles 1/2" $4 each
Juveniles 1/2", over 100 $3.60 each
Juveniles 1/2", over 500 $3.00 each
Juveniles 1"-3" $8.00 each
Juveniles 1"-3", over 100 $7.20 each
Juveniles 1"-3", over 500 $6.00 each
Adults 4" to 7" $20.00 each
Packing: 1/2" juveniles - 100/box
1"-3" juveniles - 40/box
Adults - 5-6/box