River prawns as canal cleaners. Who knew?



"Beyond the consumer applications, Professor Sagi has also been involved in research on using the prawns to combat schistosomiasis, a debilitating waterborne disease that affects around 200 million people worldwide, primarily in impoverished areas. Also known as Snail Fever, the disease is caused by parasitic flatworms called schistosomes, which use aquatic snails as an intermediate host. Anyone swimming in, or drinking water inhabited by, these snails is likely to contract the disease, which can eventually lead to liver damage, kidney failure, infertility, or bladder cancer. In children, it may also inhibit growth and mental development.

Since the prawns are voracious predators of water snails, trials are underway to determine how commercial aquaculture operations can be most effectively configured for a parallel role as snail control centers. In a recent paper, Sagi and other proponents argue that the prawns could significantly reduce the number of infected people and the cost of the drugs required to treat them, plus the prawn ponds would provide permanent sources of food and income."  ars technica



These are the size I am familiar with.

I have eaten a lot of these guys in SE Asia and in fancy restaurants in Dubai, Morocco and Abu Dhabi.  These are absolutely wonderful grilled with the heads on.  Oil, lemon, S&P, garlic, three minutes on a side.  The heads are deliciously crunchy.

This Israeli bio-engineering company has managed to raise them in tanks filled with females only.  Brilliant!  The males are a nuisance.  They are very territorial and fight all the time, injuring each other, killing other prawns and are thus much distracted from the serious business of gaining weight and making little prawns.  Yum.  pl


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12 Responses to River prawns as canal cleaners. Who knew?

  1. Peter VE says:

    Oysters are very good at filtering out a lot of organic stuff in the water, so they’re installing oyster beds at the head of Narragansett Bay to help clean up the water. Wouldn’t particularly want to eat THOSE oysters, though…. I prefer the ones from the clean salt ponds near the mouth of the Bay.

  2. CK says:

    Females only.
    bah humbug

  3. Barbara Ann says:

    “The males are a nuisance. They are very territorial and fight all the time, injuring each other, killing other prawns and are thus much distracted from the serious business of gaining weight and making little prawns.”

    A good description of the universal female POV, at least from time to time. Some among the human population advocate the banishment of “toxic masculinity”, using a similar rationale. I can only think such people perceive the desirable human condition as analogous to life in an intensive farm.

  4. BillWade says:

    At the other end of tasty shrimp are these small freshwater ones called Thai Dancing Shrimp, it’s a delicious salad I was introduced to by a Thai nurse near Ubon, Thailand. A pic and a recipe:

  5. Eric Newhill says:

    Do they taste like lobster or crawdads? Or are they a flavor unto themselves?
    I assume they don’t taste like chicken.

  6. Fred says:

    Very interesting genetic/reproductive manipulation. “Any aquaculture operation requires some amount of water exchange to keep the system healthy, but the small amount of the freshwater discharged from a prawn farm each day can be used to irrigate crops. ” That’s a good byproduct too. The power company I once worked for in Florida had a fish hatchery as mitigation and amongst other things grew redfish and sea trout. They never did expand that to commercial application, but I suspect a prawn hatchery would work at that same location, all the infrastructure is already built.

  7. turcopolier says:

    Eric Newhill
    A lot like crawdads.

  8. sbin says:

    That looks delicious!
    Seems like a win win solution to a problem.
    Eating lamb tonight but scampi might be on the menu tomorrow.

  9. English Outsider says:

    Barbara Anne – still trying to get my head round that sardonic passage that you quote above. And around your development of it. Suspect it’s all above my pay grade.
    Over here, I see little resemblance in our present condition to life on an intensive farm. Nor indeed do I see much masculinity or femininity around, toxic or otherwise. None that serves any useful purpose.
    Seems to me our condition at present resembles nothing so much as that of undifferentiated sludge. We form a substratum on which the swamp subsists forming, that swamp, random and sometimes vicious patterns beyond its control or ours.
    We have travelled a long way from the clean certainties of the Little House on the Prairie, or whatever its English equivalent is or was. It seems to me not to have been a particularly useful journey.

  10. Eric Newhill says:

    “A lot like crawdads.”
    I would do them up Cajun style then, over dirty rice. Mmmmmm.

  11. turcopolier says:

    eric newhill
    A lot of meat there. I first ate these in Saigon at a little place run by a retired Navy chief and his VN wife. They made curry out of them. The rivers and canals in VN were full of them.

  12. Barbara Ann says:

    English Outsider
    I am afflicted with a tendency to go off on tangential lines of thought and I expect I’ll be told when it becomes tiresome in my comments. Here I couldn’t resist a comparison of the Israeli’s achievement with the aspirations of certain SJW types who seem to want to rid the world of masculine traits altogether. A desire to expunge essential parts of what it is to be human is a symptom of the Progressive movement’s underlying self-loathing and hatred of mankind.
    To what extent masculinity serves a useful purpose depends very much on your view of the future. I am not among those who believe that we will emancipate ourselves from conflict & warfare on the way to our Utopian manifest destiny. We are and always will be tribal carnivores. If from time to time that interferes with the serious business of gaining weight and making little prawns, then so be it.
    Anyway, aside from all that these monsters (which I have not tried) look delicious and are about the same size as the minimum catch size lobsters round our way.

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