Crawfish Infested a Berlin Park, Now the City Will Eat Them

A local fisherman has been granted a fishing license for the Louisiana crustaceans.

By Ethan L. Johns
May 09, 2018

Image: Adam Berry/Getty Images

It’s been a while (nearly 75 years) since Berlin was invaded by the Red Army. Over the past few years, however, a unsuspected and very different red army has been invading the parks of the German capital. What’s that about the past repeating itself?

Louisiana red swamp crawfish made headlines last summer after they started popping up in large numbers in Berlin’s public parks. Unable to completely eradicate the freshwater crustacean, the city government has effectively ordered them whacked, by issuing a license to a local fisherman.

While red swamp crawfish are ripped apart with relish in places like Louisiana, in the European Union they are considered an invasive species. The Berlin population was likely started with the release of aquarium crawfish into the wild (the species can be desirable as a pet). Yet the foreign creepy crawlies pose a threat to native species, which lack a shared immunity to disease.

The license from the Berlin government, which expires in 2018, was given to local fisherman Klaus Hidde, according to Getty. Hidde now has permission to catch as many as he can, and intends to sell the live ones to local restaurants.

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Despite the present eradication effort, anyone caught fishing without a permit will be charged with wildlife poaching.

The red swamp crawfish live in embankments near bodies of water in the parks. As waters rise, they scurry out to escape. Many of the creatures—which can grow to be up to six inches long—have been spotted scurrying over the cobblestones, impeding foot traffic and drawing selfie-takers.

Looks like this is one red army that the city should be able to eat up without a problem. All it needs is some seasoning and a pert of berlin’ werter and it’ll be good to go.

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About Ethan L. Johns

Ethan is the Food News Writer at Genius Kitchen. An expert on the Parisian bistrot, he likes bitters and salted butters, and is no fan of dessert unless it's made with fruit. His hobbies include reading up on the history of borscht and attempting to roll perfect couscous by hand. Twits & Instagram @EthanLJohns