Environmental Science Education on Crayfish (Procambarus Clarkii) – Low Calorie Diets Tips

Tokyo NODAI Research Program for Sustainable Agriculture discusses environmental education of crayfish

In Japan, the crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) is a well-known species, but it is also an active target for eradication because of its impact on ecosystems such as native aquatic insects and aquatic plant communities, and because it is a cause of agricultural damage such as foraging damage to rice seedlings and collapse of the shore of the rice field. There is a need to learn more about the species through environmental science education.

There are few cases where crayfish are actively used in Japan, but crayfish are used as food (protein source) in Europe, the United States and China. In other words, the eradication and utilization of crayfish in Japan should protect the local environment and other local resources, and lead to the development of new resources as sustainable agricultural resources. However, it is not easy to immediately recognize crayfish as a food source in Japan, as they have not been recognized as a common food source in the country.

Therefore, we considered educational activities that use crayfish as a resource through environmental science classes where students learn about “environment, invasive species, creature life, resources and food”. In addition, we have decided to use our environmental and food expertise, which is the mainstay of Tokyo University of Agriculture, and work on utilizing crayfish for food and agricultural materials as a useful resource to reduce the environment Burden for future nutritional problems.

The crayfish are cultivated in aquaponics, which combines crayfish and leafy greens in a hygienic environment through the circulation of clean water. In addition, crayfish are examined from a nutritional point of view and their safety is assessed in order to be able to use them as food for humans and animals. Then the shells are used as food additives and the inedible parts as fertilizer to use crayfish as a sustainable agricultural resource.

This article describes the environmental science education practices that form the core of the project, as well as the booklet that was created to guide our project and the aquaponics-based crayfish farming system.

Teaching practice in environmental science education

We have conducted environmental education to stimulate interest in familiar organisms through ecological investigations initiated by crayfish as a form of social education in the community, and we have conducted environmental protection activities through eradication. The eradicated crabs were also used for observations and scientific experiments on changing body color in public lectures for elementary, middle, and high school students and after-school classes in schools. Subsequently, educational practices on “Environment, Invasive Species, Life of Living Creatures, Resources and Food” were conducted in elementary schools and public lectures to explain the concept of crayfish as a food and agricultural resource and its importance as a sustainable agricultural resource.

Through the teaching practice, it became clear from the students’ written comments that the crayfish provided an opportunity to reflect on environmental protection and the life of living beings, as well as a chance to see crayfish as a resource. In addition, a booklet was prepared for students and parents on the seven points covered in this course (Crayfish Habitat, Characteristics, History of Introduction, Habitat Distribution in Japan, Problem of Alien Species, Variegated Crayfish, and Resources).

Environmental Science Education

The True Story of Crabs in Japan

This booklet is a guide to “environmental science education” and focuses on the crabs that are found all around you. The top of each page is a story for children and the bottom is the Japanese translation for parents and teachers to read the story to their children.

Crayfish are invasive species found worldwide. What is often overlooked when considering the problem of invasive species is that “once the natural environment has been touched by humans, it requires ongoing maintenance and management by humans”. Furthermore, dealing with nature includes not only preserving the landscape, but also dealing with living organisms, which is associated with maintaining ecological balance. However, few people seem to understand this point.

Because when it comes time to clean up ponds and swamps, there is a tendency to believe that the invasive species that ultimately survive are to blame. This is despite the fact that the lack of continuous human maintenance and management is to blame for the situation. Here we pose the question of why cancer is a problem and look at the issue from both the human and cancer perspectives.

We hope that the crabs are an opportunity for people to think about how humans and the environment, and the creatures that inhabit them, can coexist. We hope that parents will read the booklet to their children in the lower grades of elementary school and reflect on it with them.

Equipment for crayfish farming in aquaponics

In a traditional aquaponic tank, plants are grown in the upper part of the tank and crabs are kept in the lower part of the tank. However, with this cultivation system, when pumping water from the lower tank to the upper plants, potential problems such as: and food damage to crops were accounted for. In order to solve these problems, we tried to improve the rearing equipment as shown in Photo 1.

Unlike traditional aquaponic equipment, the crab rearing area was placed at the top and plants were grown at the bottom. This has prevented accumulated dirt (leftover feed and feces) from accumulating in the tank, increased the number of tanks, prevented mass rearing and escape, and prevented feed damage to crops. In addition, since materials other than pumps can be obtained inexpensively, it has become possible to provide breeding equipment that is less expensive than conventional aquariums for later use as teaching materials. In addition, we are currently working on a large-scale closed aquaculture system that uses groundwater for crayfish rearing.

In the future, the nutritional value and safety of the crabs grown with these devices will be verified, and future utilization of the crab resources in Japan will be promoted based on environmental science education.

Authors: Takeda K, Higuchi S, Ono H, Asai T, Kato T, Suzuki T, Takahashi N, Miyajima K, Kurosawa A, Komatsu K, and Okazawa H.

Funding: Tokyo NODAI Research Program for Sustainable Agriculture

Acknowledgments: We would like to thank Dr. Thanks to Junichi Nakagawa for advice and suggestions on this article

*Please note: This is a commercial profile.

© 2019. This work is licensed under CC-BY-NC-ND.

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