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INTRODUCTION TO YABBYPONICS

Yabbyponics isn’t as quite popular as Aquaponics throughout the world. Actually, in several Nations this application of Aquaponics principle for crayfish farming is absolutely unknown.

There are few reasons for this lack of information about this niche sector of Aquaculture.

First of all, crayfish and shrimp farming industry isn’t so developed in many of our Western Countries. As a matter of fact, this is a primacy that Asian Countries hold.

So much that just a tiny fraction of the prawns we eat everyday comes from local sources. Whereas, the ninety percent of it is imported from Southeast Asian and Central American intensive farms. And what’s the problem about that? Well, recent findings show that the marine shrimp farms carried out in these regions have a huge impact on the environment in terms of emissions. Just think that a 40-g farmed shrimp corresponds to 4.8 kg CO2 released into the atmosphere.

yabbyponics
My Rivendell Aquaponics Farm’s second greenhouse this Winter

A GREEN, LOW-EMISSION FOOD PRODUCTION

On the contrary, the crayfish production under Aquaponics conditions doesn’t entail either polluting wastewater. Moreover, and it gives you the possibility to run it indoor inside solar-powered and air-conditioned facility, instead that in artificial ponds. Like it happens in Southeast Asia, where producers clear away whole mangrove forests for the implementation of their farms. *

Anyway, another reason Yabbyponics is such a niche farming practice is the level of specialized expertise crayfish breeding requires. Indeed, it’s not a job for everyone!

Mostly because of the high mortality of crayfish stocked in the tanks, due to their cannibalistic tendencies. Particularly triggered by intraspecific fights for territorial protection and molting. Essentially, the latter is the most dangerous stage for crayfish, since they’re really weak and they give out an hormonal signal to inform other crayfish of their temporary defenselessness. So that, they can be killed by their tank mates or die because of a calcium deficiency (<=diet and/or water).

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Logically, these biological and behavioral characteristics affect the limited stocking density you can keep inside your tanks for the lowest viable mortality rate. Indeed, the number of crayfish you can rear in a tank depends on the surface area you provide for them together with the shelters. Therefore, it’s not a matter of volume of water, like in fish farming. So much that they show a less aggressive behavior when reared in a small volume of water (but not too little, especially in hot seasons).

YABBY FARMING CONDITIONS

However, until now I’ve referred to the application of Aquaponics principles to the crayfish farming of a generic, either freshwater or marine, species. While Yabbyponics is a productive practice developed on a specific Australian freshwater lobster species, the Common Yabby (Cherax destructor).

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It is very hardy, drought-resistant and relatively mild compared to other crayfish species we’ve tested in Aquaponics in the previous years, such as the Procambarus clarkii and Astacus leptodactylus.

[W.T.R.=Water Temperature Range]

**

Yabbyponics

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Brine Shrimp Eggs, Premium Grade 90% Hatch, Great Salt Lake (Artemia Cysts) Eggs

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**

yabbyponics

NEXT TIME…

We’ll dive ever more into the Yabbyponics method using infographics for schematically resume the key information for breeding this crayfish species.

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* Recent scientific advances have demonstrated that coastal wetlands – mangrove forests, tidal marshes and seagrass meadows – are incredible long-term carbon sinks, storing carbon in the plants themselves but more importantly in the soils below for hundreds to thousands of years. In fact, the same area of coastal wetlands can be more efficient as a carbon sink than most terrestrial forests

**References:
  • The Yabby, Marron and Red Claw Production and Marketing, John R. Merrick and C. Nick Lambert

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