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Scrumptious shell fish need lots of pampering while they are babies
A real shock for gourmets: locally bred freshwater crayfish are a specialty highly appreciated by Martinique’s gourmets – in Creole sauce, grilled, or served fried with pastry balls (see postcard above). Yet for some mysterious reason, the reproduction of this scrumptious shellfish suddenly came to a halt.

By Bernhard Grdseloff
Fresh water shell fish: highly appreciated
Fresh water shell fish: highly appreciated

From one day to the next, the island’s million dollar hatchery had failed. "Most larvae just died in the breeding tanks," remembers André Mangatal. It wasn’t long before the history teacher gave up his job and built his own hatchery in his garden. Since then he has been supplying local breeders with juveniles.

"The species used in our aqua cultures originates from Asia, where they move into brackish river mouths for spawning," reveals the expert. "For the baby crayfish to survive, the temperature and salt content of the water need to be exactly the same as in their natural environment. And hygiene is an absolute must."

Martinique’s native freshwater crayfish aren’t quite as fussy, but they’re unsuitable for breeding. Mangatal: "They’re cannibals – so there won’t be much left for the gourmets…"

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