Bumper harvest of hairy crabs

Yang Yang
Crab farmers of Maogang Town have a bumper harvest of hairy crabs this year. 
Yang Yang
Bumper harvest of hairy crabs
Cai Bin / Ti Gong

Crab farmers show off Huangpu hairy crabs.

Fishing started in mid-October for Damao Huangpu River hairy crabs in Maogang Town.

The crabs harvested at the Tianhuang Village breeding center weighed as much as 300g to over 400g each.

“The biggest male crab weighs about 420g, whereas the biggest female crab can weigh about 310g,” said a crab farmer.

“The Huangpu River hairy crabs grow quite well this year. The number of big-sized crabs increased,” said Lang Yuelin, chairman of Shanghai Yuyue Fishery Cooperative.

“The proportion of male crabs weighing 200g and female crabs weighing 150g accounts for more than 80 percent of the total,” Lang said.

Damao Huangpu River hairy crabs are known for their indigo backs, white bellies, golden claws and yellow hairs. Male crabs usually have a pair of heavy and strong claws.

As a high-quality variety of Huangpu River hairy crabs, the Damao crabs taste best when cooked in boiling water and served with a tray of vinegar and ginger granules as dipping sauce.

From 2007, crab farmers in Maogang, supported by district and city governments, spent years in developing the large-scale ecological aquaculture pond breeding technology.

The farmers breed hairy crabs at low density, carefully plant water grasses, add oxygen to ponds and use high-quality feed. High breeding standards limit the number of crabs bred to 550 per mu (8,200 per hectare).

The total yield of Damao Huangpu River hairy crabs this year is expected to be about 750,000 kilograms with prices ranging from 60 yuan (US$8.54) to 200 yuan each, according to statistics.

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