Marron culture in West Australia

Marron (Cherax tenuimanus) is a very large freshwater crayfish native to the main permanent rivers in the forested, high rainfall areas in the south west of Western Australia. They can be farmed in other areas of Australia, but they prefer cooler waters. Marron can grow up to 2 kg (4.4 lbs). Market prices them at about $A 30 – 40 kg. Marron are similar, but larger than the yabby. Marron is a luxury product highly prized by chefs which attracts much higher prices than yabbies or redclaw crayfish.

Health testing of yabbys has revealed very few diseases in farmed and wild yabby populations. These include microsporidiosis which was probably introduced with illegal imports of yabbys from the eastern states; and a small undescribed virus. Testing for crayfish plague fungus (Aphanomyces astaci) since 1989 has supported the claim that this devastating and internationally reported disease is not present in Australia

Marron are increasingly being farmed and husbandry techniques are developing rapidly. Informal information is being shared at the Crayfish Information Network.

The Department of Fisheries, Government of Western Australia, has published information about farming marron. They even advise on how to keep Marron in backyard pools.

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