Female mutant crayfish clones sold as pets now in Canada

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Female mutant crayfish clones sold as pets now in Canada

Post by Soontir C'boath » 2018-02-12 02:27am

  1. Well now, ladies. Do not take this seriously, please.
  2. The question that was not asked and answered is, are they just as good to eat as Louisiana crayfish?
CBC wrote:Female mutant crayfish clones have landed, but government recommends you not buy one

According to a new study published in Nature, Ecology and Evolution, the all-female marbled crayfish reproduces by cloning at a rapid rate, earning it comparisons to the fictional Tribble alien-species on Star Trek.

"If you have one animal, essentially, three months later, you will have 200 or 300," Wolfgang Stein, a neurophysiologist at Illinois State University and one of the researchers on the study, told CBC's As It Happens.

Stein said this specific species has only been around for about 25 to 30 years when a female descendant of two slough crayfish inherited an extra set of chromosomes .

And that meant she didn't need any male crayfish to reproduce.

"The whole species is essentially female," Stein said.

The population exploded when they became hot commodities in the pet trade, especially among German aquarium hobbyists in the 1990s, said Stein. Now thriving populations are found in Japan, in Madagascar and Europe, prompting the European Union to ban the species from being produced, distributed, or released in the wild.

Illegal to release
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans says there haven't been any reports of wild marbled crayfish, known as procambarus virginalis, in Canada, but they're carried by some pet stores and a look around Kijiji.ca shows sellers offering the bizarre animal at cheap prices in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax.

"Within a few months you will have a very large colony of crayfish," reads one Toronto-area ad.

While there's nothing illegal about importing the marbled crayfish to Canada, the government is suggesting people don't own the cloning species.

"Based on what is known about the reproductive behaviour of the marbled crayfish, we do not recommend Canadians keep these animals as pets," said Becky Cudmore, regional manager with Fisheries and Ocean's aquatic invasive species program.

"Human release of animals is one of the ways invasive species are introduced and become established in new areas."

Cudmore said anyone who already owns marbled crayfish should ensure the pet is contained.

"Unauthorized release of any aquatic animal into a waterbody from which they did not originate is illegal under the regulations," she said.

Stein's team looked at the island country of Madagascar as a case study for what happens when the crayfish find their way to the wild.

When the species was spotted in Madagascar in 2007 they occupied an area the size of Rhode Island, explained Stein.

"In 2017, they occupy the area the size of Ohio. That's a hundred-fold increase in just a decade."

His team warned that the crayfish will have to be monitored to make sure the bubbling marbled crayfish population doesn't negatively impact other underwater communities.

Brie Edwards, a research scientist at Laurentian University, said more study would be needed to figure out how the marbled crayfish could affect Canada's ecosystem if it was ever released in the wild.

Since the slough crayfish originates from the southern states, it's not certain the marbled crayfish could survive in Ontario waters, said Edwards, who also works for the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change.

"The likelihood that establishment would have negative implications for native species or ecosystems requires research and proper risk assessment," she said.
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Re: Female mutant crayfish clones sold as pets now in Canada

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-02-12 11:36am

As far as I can determine they're basically exoskeletal aquatic tribbles with pincers.
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Re: Female mutant crayfish clones sold as pets now in Canada

Post by Broomstick » 2018-02-12 12:43pm

Do they taste good?

Because I can see a potential solution to both "crayfish tribbles reproduce really fast" and "overfishing" here...
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Re: Female mutant crayfish clones sold as pets now in Canada

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-02-12 02:59pm

The problem is that if you release crayfish tribbles-with-pincers into the environment to fish them, they will outbreed all other forms of life in their ecological niche and most other marine shellfish get swamped in a sea of tribbles-with-pincers. Who will then eat all the food and cause ecological collapse, because of course they will. Because they're tribbles-with-pincers.

Factory farming tribble-crayfish might be productive, but it's risky, because letting even one escape into the wild can be disastrous, and you don't even need a breeding pair. Because tribbles-with-pincers.
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Re: Female mutant crayfish clones sold as pets now in Canada

Post by Soontir C'boath » 2018-02-12 03:06pm

I wouldn't go as far as factory farming. If they reproduce as fast as 200 from 1 crayfish in a couple months, families can probably harvest a meal or two a week on them.
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Re: Female mutant crayfish clones sold as pets now in Canada

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-02-12 03:26pm

I never said you needed more than one pincer-tribble to run a pincer-tribble factory.

That's the problem.
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Re: Female mutant crayfish clones sold as pets now in Canada

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-02-12 04:09pm

Soontir C'boath wrote:
2018-02-12 03:06pm
I wouldn't go as far as factory farming. If they reproduce as fast as 200 from 1 crayfish in a couple months, families can probably harvest a meal or two a week on them.
Or glut the live bait business in Oklahoma into bankruptcy.
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Re: Female mutant crayfish clones sold as pets now in Canada

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-02-12 04:29pm

That sounds extra double plus likely to result in escaping mutant pincer-tribbles eating everything and destroying the world.
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Re: Female mutant crayfish clones sold as pets now in Canada

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-02-12 06:43pm

Shouldn't it be possible to factory-farm these in big-ass tanks? If you can set up a production line that basically turns these from live crawdads to cooked frozen crawdads, that might do the trick... of course one would have to establish a market first...
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Re: Female mutant crayfish clones sold as pets now in Canada

Post by Alyrium Denryle » 2018-02-12 08:26pm

Canada, why the fuck aren't these already illegal? Seriously.
Shouldn't it be possible to factory-farm these in big-ass tanks? If you can set up a production line that basically turns these from live crawdads to cooked frozen crawdads, that might do the trick... of course one would have to establish a market first...
They're tasty. There's a market.
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Re: Female mutant crayfish clones sold as pets now in Canada

Post by Raw Shark » 2018-02-12 10:09pm

Hell yeah they are. I get them at this one Cajun place downtown, but there's an even better place in little Saigon that keeps everything alive until the moment it goes in the pot. There's a lot of French food in that neighborhood, for reasons that should probably be obvious.

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Re: Female mutant crayfish clones sold as pets now in Canada

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-02-12 11:05pm

Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-02-12 06:43pm
Shouldn't it be possible to factory-farm these in big-ass tanks? If you can set up a production line that basically turns these from live crawdads to cooked frozen crawdads, that might do the trick... of course one would have to establish a market first...
The problem isn't that you can't do this, the problem is they're freaking arthro-tribble-pods. All it takes is one bozo at a bankrupt restaurant thinking to pour out the crawdad tank into the nearest pond and it's off to the races.
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Re: Female mutant crayfish clones sold as pets now in Canada

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-02-12 11:54pm

Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-02-12 04:29pm
That sounds extra double plus likely to result in escaping mutant pincer-tribbles eating everything and destroying the world.
Not if I eat them first. Let me at that crawdad.
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Re: Female mutant crayfish clones sold as pets now in Canada

Post by Soontir C'boath » 2018-02-13 12:10am

By the way, tribbles is not an apt name when zerglings and tyranids come to mind. When they inevitably have to devour human flesh to sustain themselves, we shall become a hive world and set out with bioships to eat other life teeming planets.
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Re: Female mutant crayfish clones sold as pets now in Canada

Post by LadyTevar » 2018-02-13 01:08am

Did everyone miss the part where these things are ALREADY GROWING WILD IN MADAGASCAR?!?!?
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Re: Female mutant crayfish clones sold as pets now in Canada

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-02-13 03:36am

I guess that means the people in Madagascar will have to... just smile and wave, boys, smile and wave.
"Beware the Beast, Man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone amongst God's primates, he kills for sport, for lust, for greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him, drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of Death.."
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Re: Female mutant crayfish clones sold as pets now in Canada

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-02-13 06:38am

Soontir C'boath wrote:
2018-02-13 12:10am
By the way, tribbles is not an apt name when zerglings and tyranids come to mind. When they inevitably have to devour human flesh to sustain themselves, we shall become a hive world and set out with bioships to eat other life teeming planets.
Hah.

Seriously though, I don't think crayfish eat live people and I'm pretty sure they'd be bad at it if they tried. :P
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Did everyone miss the part where these things are ALREADY GROWING WILD IN MADAGASCAR?!?!?
No, and I think we all agree they're a highly dangerous invasive species with the potential to turn ecosystems inside out. The fact that they're already doing this somewhere in the world just highlights that.

Well, okay, maybe Cinnabar's laughing it off. He's unflappable like that. :P
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Re: Female mutant crayfish clones sold as pets now in Canada

Post by Patroklos » 2018-02-13 07:47am

Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-02-12 11:05pm
Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-02-12 06:43pm
Shouldn't it be possible to factory-farm these in big-ass tanks? If you can set up a production line that basically turns these from live crawdads to cooked frozen crawdads, that might do the trick... of course one would have to establish a market first...
The problem isn't that you can't do this, the problem is they're freaking arthro-tribble-pods. All it takes is one bozo at a bankrupt restaurant thinking to pour out the crawdad tank into the nearest pond and it's off to the races.
Restrict the factories to places they can't possibly live long in the wild, and require them to be processed on site. Deserts. In the case of Canada, anywhere the natural water body water temperature is certain death.

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Re: Female mutant crayfish clones sold as pets now in Canada

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-02-13 08:41am

If we were very, very hard up for meat I could get behind doing something like this, but I don't think we are.

That said, I could totally get behind, say, using a tank of these arthro-tribble-pods as a source of protein on, say, a moon base. Somewhere they won't dismantle ecosystems.

EDIT: Patroklos, I get that the idea is to put them in places they can't survive locally, but experience with the handling of invasive species shows that it's usually better to do everything in one's power to keep them from gaining at toehold anywhere in the ecosystem, rather than trying to introduce them when convenient while keeping them away from the places that really matter.
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Re: Female mutant crayfish clones sold as pets now in Canada

Post by KraytKing » 2018-03-07 02:05pm

Just to be clear: are we talking about lobsters or the little look-alikes three inches long that you find in rivers?
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Re: Female mutant crayfish clones sold as pets now in Canada

Post by Khaat » 2018-03-07 02:09pm

KraytKing wrote:
2018-03-07 02:05pm
Just to be clear: are we talking about lobsters or the little look-alikes three inches long that you find in rivers?
The little ones.
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Re: Female mutant crayfish clones sold as pets now in Canada

Post by KraytKing » 2018-03-07 02:11pm

That's what I thought. How do eat them? Like softshell crabs? It seems like they don't have enough meat on them to justify picking them apart.
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Re: Female mutant crayfish clones sold as pets now in Canada

Post by Broomstick » 2018-03-07 02:41pm

I don't eat them often, but generally I snap them apart between head and body and pick out the edible bits.
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Re: Female mutant crayfish clones sold as pets now in Canada

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-03-08 10:20pm

That's how most people eat them, after boiling them. Others remove the meat from the shell, bread them in cornmeal, and deep fry them, usually in peanut oil.

Either way is okay. Especially w8th a bowl of hot, buttered rice.
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Re: Female mutant crayfish clones sold as pets now in Canada

Post by LaCroix » 2018-03-09 06:10am

Think of them as supersized shrimp - however you prefer to consume shrimp, you can do the same dish with them.
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