Astacus leptodactylus is naturally and widely distributed in lakes, ponds and rivers throughout of Turkey. It has also been stocked in many freshwater systems in Turkey to establish new populations and to restore crayfish stocks devastated by the plague (Aphanomyces astaci) and some other reasons (i.e., farming and culinary purposes). Human consumption of A. leptodactylushas always been very low in Turkey; therefore, it was exported mainly to Europe until 1986. A plague was observed in 1985 in Eğirdir, Apolyont, Sapanca and Manyas lakes which included the main harvest areas, and the fishery was lost within 2 years. Consequently, crayfish harvest was banned in all populations to control the plague. Because of the plague, over-fishing and pollution, the harvest of A. leptodactylusin Turkey declined from approximately 5000 (1984) to 200 (1991) tons annually. In 2000s, there has been a gradual increase in the rate of harvest of A. leptodactylusin Turkey, reaching approximately 1600–1900 tons annually, but the plague is still observed in this species at certain localities. The present study reveals that A. leptodactylus in Turkey needs professional support for recovery, because the present harvest of A. leptodactylusis still nearly 20% of the crayfish catch in 1980s.
Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 22, 2005
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