By Bernhard Grdseloff
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…"