Since American crayfish were introduced to English waters in the 1970s carrying disease with them, there has been a rapid decline of our native white-claw variety.
Now one man is on a crusade to rid our waters of these pests by smoking them on his boat and selling them as a high-end delicacy.
Bob Ring, or Crayfish Bob as he is known, is on a mission to catch copious amounts of the American Signal Crayfish which have over-populated English waterways for over thirty years.
The 53-year-old, of Lavender Hill, was one of the first people in Britain to be granted a licence to catch crayfish, and now hopes to turn what started out as a hobby into a business.
A former special effects filmmaker and photographer, Bob first decided to start catching crayfish when he saw them in the water in England on a sailing trip with a friend.
He now has his own narrow boat, which he moors in Windsor, and uses smaller boats to trap the fish in his nets. Then he smokes them on his boat or at a friend’s smokehouse.
“I love food and I care about the environment, so it seems like the perfect thing for me to do for a living. I’ll never catch enough to make a difference, but in an ideal world my business would go bust as there would be no crayfish left to catch,” he said.
Bob has been selling live crayfish for the past three years, but hopes a smoked ready-to-eat product will be more popular with buyers and help get rid the water of a lot more crayfish.
He is currently experimenting with different ways of smoking crayfish, and hopes to charge around £10 a kilo through his business, Crayaway, when he starts selling them next year.
To find out more about Bob and his crayfish visit crayaway.com