Animal rights party Partij voor de Dieren wants the province of Noord-Holland to stop promoting American crayfish as a ‘regional product’ because its popularity may endanger biodiversity, the Parool reports.
The American crayfish, thought to have travelled from their native United States in the ballast tanks of large freighters, are proliferating at a fast rate and are already posing a threat to other animal species.
Last year the provincial authorities launched a campaign to turn the pest into a local delicacy, and enlisted tv chef Leon de Mazairac to give a crayfish cooking masterclass.
‘By marketing the crayfish as a regional product you create demand for them,’ provincial council member Ines Kostic told the paper. ‘The danger is that fishermen will release more crayfish into the wild to make some money. It is better to promote biodiversity to bring back a natural balance.’
An agriculture ministry spokesperson has said the provincial authorities’ attempts to put crayfish up for regional product status are unlikely to be successful because the criteria are very strict, the Parool said.
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