Crayfish Flood Berlin’s Restaurants This Summer

Last year, the streets and parks of Berlin were taken over by a surprise flood of crayfish. The unexpected critter invasion gained quite a bit of attention on social media. Local poaching laws banned people from catching and cooking them, leaving them understandably crabby.

However, this year, local authorities have decided to allow a family owned Berlin fishery to catch and sell the crayfish. This means it’s more than likely to be seen popping up on menus around Berlin this summer.

Berlin crayfish
A Berlin-based fishery has been authorized to catch and sell the shellfish

The “if you can’t beat them, eat them,” tactic has resulted in some 1,600 crayfish being captured so far.

Berlin Authorises Catching of Crayfish

This particular breed, the North American red swamp crayfish, or procambarus clarkii, is on the European Union’s list of invasive alien species but is quite also popular in German aquariums. The German Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union believe that increasing numbers are due to people dumping the shellfish in the city’s lakes where they multiplied in favorable weather.

boiled crayfish
They will be seen on restaurant tables this summer

Berlin authorities fear the negative effects of this invasive species, as they carry infections that native species are not resistant to.

Upon reaching almost plague-like numbers, Berlin’s health and environmental authorities cleared the crayfish for human consumption. The license, granted to Klaus Hidde and his family owned fishery, runs until the end of the year.

While individuals are not permitted to fish for the creatures, Hidde plans to sell them to restaurants and stores.

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