August is crayfish eating month – somewhere. And, in our great, green, hi-tech world, it seems some things are being done the old fashioned way. Folks from Louisiana to California and even Australia are poaching crayfish. Not like poaching eggs, but the other thing. Crayfish pilfering. Who knew that these invertebrate beings were experiencing such popularity beyond the confines of the neighborhood IKEA freezer?
It turns out there is a huge gansta crayfish poaching operation causing much trouble in crayfish land. Okay, so maybe not quite the gansta part. Reports are that sheriffs are tracking everything from tire tracks to shoe tracks, all in an effort to curb crayfish larceny. Yep. Shoe tracks. For those not in the know, you may say crayfish, others say crawfish, mudbugs and crawdaddies – which aren’t necessarily the crustacean equivalent of sugar daddies. In Australia crayfish are called “bass yabbies.” The Australians are complex.
As crayfish prices rise, crayfish guards are being hired. If caught, crayfish thieves can wind up in prison for ten years with hard labor and more severe punishment if they’re repeat offenders. There is also a crayfish task force working on the issue. But many cray-fisher-people aren’t waiting for the law to come around. They’re taking matters into their own hands. When a group of crayfish thieves disappeared in Louisiana, rumor was that they had been used as crayfish bait. Not a happy ending there.
In Idaho, a sting operation was conducted at a bar that was suspected of illegal crayfish trading. In Australia, magistrates are looking in to organized crime dealings in crayfish. And truly, crayfish wasn’t necessarily a big thing outside of Sweden until regular seafood prices skyrocketed. Now restaurant chefs are serving crayfish and the prices are going up – $96 million worth of crayfish business was done in 2006. Some people don’t think this is a crime but please, don’t poach the crayfish. You could wind up on the wrong side of the law. And there is no app for that.