Population Ecology and Utilization of the Introduced Crayfish in the Kafue Floodplain and Lake Kariba: Zambia

Women walking with baskets on heads
Ryder Haske/WorldFish

Crayfish populations have been introduced and are now invasive in the Kafue Floodplain and Lake Kariba. The project will investigate the population biology of the crayfish in the two water bodies relevant to exploitation and management of the stocks and analyze the economic value of the potential crayfish supply chain from Lake Kariba and the Kafue River. The crayfish have potential to provide an alternative food, employment, and income source, contributing to poverty reduction among the local population. Strategic market-oriented exploitation, as a complementary activity to traditional finfish capture, could be a lucrative business and a good offset to the species’ negative ecological and economic impacts. The value chain assessment part of this study will also provide information as to whether the crayfish can be beneficial to economic development or detrimental to fisheries development. Results of the ecological and economics studies should enable policy makers and fisheries authorities make informed decisions regarding the species.