Center for Sustainable Entrepreneurship (CenSE) - Odisee
Center for Sustainable Entrepreneurship (CenSE) - Odisee

Cultivation of redclaw crayfish in recirculation systems

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CenSE researchers: Lennerd Kevelaerts, Saskia Vanden Eede, Karel Deneckere, Johan Coppieters
Duration: January 2022 - December 2025
Financing: PWO (Odisee)
Partners: Provincial Technical Institute (Kortrijk), Lobster Fish (Deerlijk)


In this project, we investigate the commercial opportunities for farming redclaw crayfish in Flanders. We refine the cultivation method for this species by optimizing feeding techniques, the use of shelters, the design of the breeding facility and developing a harvesting and sorting method. Based on the research results, we want to find out whether the cultivation of redclaw crayfish is economically feasible. To determine this, we will evaluate both market-related and cultivation aspects.

The redclaw crayfish is a tropical freshwater crayfish native to Australia. This species possesses a number of characteristics that make it interesting for commercial aquaculture in Flanders. The cultivation of redclaw crayfish can be a sustainable diversification opportunity for fish farmers and greenhouse growers, among others. 

In this research project, we aim to investigate a number of market-related and cultivation issues. The aim is to collect missing information needed to carry out an accurate profitability study and allow the scale-up of pilot-scale breeding facilities to a commercial scale. On the one hand, we will conduct a market study to determine the market potential and possible market price of this lobster. We will also optimize the cultivation method, focusing on the feeding regime, the use of shelters in breeding tanks and determining the required mechanical and biological filtration capacity in a breeding installation.  Finally, we will investigate the most efficient way to harvest and sort redclaw crayfish. Here, we will develop our own prototype of an automatic harvesting and sorting machine, and compare it with existing harvesting and sorting techniques. The results from the different work packages will eventually be used to evaluate the economic feasibility of growing redclaw crayfish.

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