Latin name: Cherax destructor

Common names: freshwater crayfish, yabbies, yabby

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Key Facts

  • Yabbies are a species of freshwater crayfish endemic to western New South Wales, and are farmed in NSW, VIC, WA and SA.
  • Farming operations are generally small scale; crayfish are farmed in ponds or farm irrigation dams.
  • Most farms do not add additional food to ponds and dams; other operations add feed, although there is little reliance on marine resources (fishmeal).
  • There is minimal effluent from farming operations, as water is used for other purposes, such as watering livestock and crops.
  • Chemicals are not used in yabby farming.

Cooking & Recipes


Marron are a very special crustacean, similar to yabbies or prawns. Their firm, sweet flesh is a real treat and cooking should be simple to allow it to be enjoyed at its best. Steam or poach whole marron until the shell goes a vivid orange colour (6-7 minutes depending on size), then pick the meat from the shell and enjoy it in a simple salad, or by themselves accompanied by good bread, butter, and a squeeze of lemon. Alternatively, marron can be split down the middle and barbecued or grilled like a lobster. Top with a little butter and remove from the heat when the meat starts to pull from the shell edges to ensure that they don’t overcook.

More information

  • Australian production (~10t in 2020/21)

Yabbies are endemic to western NSW, but have been translocated extensively and are considered an invasive species in WA. They are primarily farmed in NSW, but small scale production also occurs in VIC, WA and SA.

Yabbies are farmed semi-intensively (with active feeding and management) and extensively, where farming is done without significant feed inputs in agricultural dams. Yabbies do not require any additional feed ingredients of marine origin in farming diets.

Yabby farm wastewater is typically recycled or used in other agricultural production, and there is effectively little/no effluent produced. No chemicals are used in production, and because marron are extremely sensitive to agricultural chemicals, marron farming requires careful/minimal use of these chemicals in adjacent agricultural operations.

Ponds used for yabby farming are also used by a range of bird, reptile (particularly turtles and tortoises), fish amphibian and mammal species; as habitat and water sources.

Semi-intensive yabby farms use physical barriers including fencing and mesh screening of ponds to control wildlife impacts. There is no evidence of lethal controls being used to manage protected species.