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December 22, 2015


Hairy Crab Farms


As a result of a 2011 cross-strait agricultural initiative between Shanghai, China, and Miaoli County, Taiwan, 75 mud crab farmers in Taiwan produce about 150,000 crabs a year, worth $1.4 million.  Every January, young crabs are shipped from Shanghai, China, to the crab farms in Miaoli County.  As part of the arrangement, experts from Shanghai Ocean University in China visit the Taiwanese crab farms once or twice a year to train the farmers in raising mud crabs.  These are not the sea crabs that Taiwan people are familiar with, but freshwater Shanghai hairy crabs found in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River.


One of the Taiwanese farmers, Chen Yun-yung, raises the crabs in the three medium-sized ponds beside his house.  This year, he harvested 3,500 crabs worth about $15,200.


Crabs from Miaoli County won three taste-test awards at a high-profile crab contest in Shanghai, China, beating out crab farmers from China’s Jiangsu Province, where the hairy crabs were first raised.


In Taiwan, high-end restaurants used to only purchase crabs from the mainland.  This autumn, however, LDC Hotels and Resorts Group, a major hotel chain, started ordering crabs from Miaoli County farmers.  “We served the crabs at restaurants at our two hotels.  The feedback was favorable and sales were good, so we decided to expand to seven hotels next season,” said a spokesperson for the restaurant.


Source:  Business Booming for Taiwan’s Crab Farmers.  December 21, 2015.

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