Tiger Prawns from Ile de Ré Salt Marshes

person Posted By: Murielle Courtois list In: Les Gambas des Marais On:

With their recognisable striped shells, tiger prawns from the salt marshes of the Île de Ré are sold live, without any preservatives, from August to November...

Prawn and oyster cultivation

Cultivating tiger prawns alongside oysters improves the development of our fine de claire and select varieties. As the prawns move along the bottom of the claire salt ponds at night, they stir up nutrients, bacteria, and phytoplankton, which become suspended in the water. Because oysters are filter feeders, this is practically like spoon feeding them! After the summer spawning season, oysters can shrink and become weak. Feeding on the suspended phytoplankton allows them to plump up quickly. This rich source of nutrition gives our oysters a meaty texture and a salty minerality.

Harmonious Polyculture

This harmonious cultivation of oysters and prawns also helps maintain the ecosystem in the claire salt ponds. Once the phytoplankton are in suspension, they can reproduce rapidly, while the turbidity of the water prevents the accumulation of algae. Macrophytic algae can disrupt the natural balance of the salt pond ecosystem by using up nutrients and out-competing the phytoplankton. Even worse, if there are enough macroalgae to turn the water green, this can asphyxiate animals and damage the bottoms of the salt ponds.

Our Île de Ré Salt Marsh Tiger Prawns are raised in our oyster salt ponds under the open sky, with only one or two shrimp per square metre. They are released into the salt ponds in May. This small scale, artisanal style of production allows our tiger prawns to feed naturally on little worms they find with their antennae in the bottom of the salt ponds.

With their recognisable striped shells, our tiger prawns are sold live, without any preservatives, from July to November. Thanks to their careful cultivation in our claire salt ponds, even without any treatments or extra feed, the flesh of our Penaeus Japonicus prawns is firm and slightly salty. They are harvested at night and sold live the next morning. Availability depends on the catch, so it's not guaranteed. Île de Ré Salt Marsh Tiger Prawns are sold directly at La Ferme des Baleines from the month of August to the month of October.

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