Last summer, the streets of Berlin were flooded with unusually high numbers of crayfish and locals were left a little crabby when they were forbidden by poaching laws from catching and cooking the tasty invaders. This year however, just as the little red rebels have started to reappear, a decision has been taken to permit one Berlin fishery to catch and sell the crayfish for human consumption.
The particular breed of rapidly-reproducing shellfish are originally from south USA and north Mexico. They are popular aquarium pets and it’s thought their increasing numbers are due to people having dumped the crustaceans in the city’s lakes. Having reached plague-like proportions, the simplest solution to the problem appears to be to eat the creatures. Berlin’s health and environmental authorities have cleared the crayfish, labelled an invasive species by the European Commission, for public consumption, meaning there is likely to be a whole lot of crayfish variations, worth shelling out for, popping up on menus around Berlin this summer.
The confrontational critters garnered quite a bit of attention on social media last year, but they’re more likely to be appearing on foodies’ pages this summer. The crab’s numbers are expected to be drastically reduced next year and as such the single permit for fishing them runs only until the end of 2018. No fishy business though – individuals are not permitted to fish the creatures for their dinner, just the family-owned Berlin fishery which plans to sell their catches to restaurants as well as to private persons.
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