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TAPrice

Spanish crayfish industry

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I live in Louisiana, and crawfish (you might call them crayfish, but you'd be wrong :laugh: ) is a big deal. I've been hearing that restaurants have been recently, over the last few years, buying Spanish crawfish. As an import it's supposed to be superior to the Chinese product and closer to the Louisiana product.

How big is the Spanish crawfish industry? They're able to undercut the Louisiana product on price. And that I can't quite figure out. Between the weakness in the dollar and, I'm assuming, regulation on a minimum wage, where do they get the labor to hand peel crawfish?


Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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Hmm, interesting. the crawfish that I've seen at the market here in Spain aren't peeled. I can tell you that crayfish are pretty cheap here, mainly because they just aren't as prized as the plethora of salt-water crustaceans (cigalas, langostinas, gambas, camarones, etc.). I do know that the species of crayfish native to Spain is nearly extinct due to persistent droughts and plagues. The farmed crayfish are obviously another story...

I'm going to try to look into this a bit more, though, because I find it pretty surprising that Spanish crayfish are ending up on the table in Louisiana, too!

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My hunch is that the Spanish are raising red swamp crawfish (Procambarus clarkii), which is the Louisiana variety. That's what the farms in China raise for a variety of reasons.

Any idea where the crayfish farming takes place?

How are crayfish sold in the Spanish seafood markets? In Louisiana people will only buy them live (for boiling) or peeled and parboiled (for dishes).

I still don't understand how peeled Spanish crayfish could come in so much cheaper than the Louisiana product. Around here, people cite the labor cost of hand peeling as the reason for the high price. I just can't imagine that Spanish labor costs would be much cheaper (and then you add the weak dollar into the mix).


Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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At the market that we normally go to they are sold live--though I'm sure they are also sold pre-cooked in certain stalls with cooked mariscos. I've never seen them pre-peeled here, though I haven't looked, either. I do know that the red "Louisiana" style crayfish are viewed as an ecological scourge, since they their introduction helped to decimate and displace the native (and allegedly more delicious) species.

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Well it is an advantage to have a traditional seafood industry but no fish in nearby waters so Spain is a big investor and trawlers of the same flag plough the waters of Central America and South American waters. Doing the sums that provides for the comparative advantage.

China does have some and namely labour other than that waters are highly polluted as well as its neighbours (Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand) a fact that is often ignored in the west.

Pollution has it hidden costs mainly invisible barriers of trade.

It has always been easy for me to ship seafood to China than viceversa in the last ten years.

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