Yab­bies worth an­other look

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

When you lazily wan­der past the del­i­catessen sec­tion of the su­per­mar­ket dur­ing a gro­cery shop it is easy to be drawn in by the vast ar­ray of pro­duce on dis­play.

Small­go­ods abound – cheese, olives, dried toma­toes and de­lec­ta­ble mix­tures from ev­ery cor­ner of Aus­tralia and beyond.

Spe­cialty meat prod­ucts are lined up, not far from a se­lec­tion of creamy sal­ads and the drift­ing aroma of freshly bar­be­cued chick­ens is hard to avoid.

These days there are also dis­plays of seafood with prawns from an ocean some­where neatly stacked on ice – lur­ing in the shop­per who has all but thrown away the list of ‘ne­ces­si­ties’ they had ini­tially lim­ited them­selves to buy.

The deli is only one part of the shop. Each aisle has tempt­ing ‘not nec­es­sary’ things on of­fer.

From a Wim­mera per­spec­tive, what’s miss­ing from the vast ar­ray of items on sale is some of the prod­ucts we would love to be able to buy.

In the del­i­catessen, for ex­am­ple, as we pe­ruse a row of prawns from the Philip­pines, where are the Wim­mera yab­bies?

Years ago, yabby farm­ing ap­peared set to be the next big thing in bou­tique pri­mary pro­duc­tion across our re­gion and many of us fully ex­pected to soon see this del­i­cacy read­ily avail­able in our su­per­mar­kets and restau­rants.

But it hasn’t hap­pened, or at least at pre­dicted lev­els, for a va­ri­ety of rea­sons.

For most of us, if we want a feed of yab­bies we have to go and catch them.

Which pon­ders the ques­tion: If we like yab­bies so much, why haven’t we reached a stage where the more lazy among us can’t sim­ply ask for them over the counter?

It is cer­tainly worth con­sid­er­ing fresh ex­plo­ration into whether com­mer­cial yabby pro­duc­tion is a se­ri­ous un­tapped in­dus­try in our part of the world, or through reg­u­la­tion, mar­ket fluc­tu­a­tions and cir­cum­stance is mere folly and point­less.

We un­der­stand there has been plenty of anx­i­ety sur­round­ing the in­dus­try in the past.

What we also know, how­ever, is that we have the ideal cli­mate to grow this crus­tacean and that many peo­ple travel great dis­tances when yab­bies are ‘on’ at lakes across the re­gion.

Crit­i­cally, we also have se­cu­rity in wa­ter sup­ply through the Wim­mera-mallee Pipe­line, which in the right cir­cum­stance, might have the po­ten­tial to drought-proof fu­ture en­ter­prise.

From a re­gional de­vel­op­ment per­spec­tive, yabby farm­ing cer­tainly qual­i­fies for any ‘leave no stone un­turned’ phi­los­o­phy and might need an­other look.

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