Limited usage of freshwater crayfishes (genus Euastacus) by Aborigines in eastern New South Wales

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J. L. Kohen*, J. R. Merrick

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Australian Aborigines utilised freshwater crayfishes as food in many areas and these macro-invertebrates had substantial cultural significance. To investigate the extent of this fishery in eastern New South Wales, where Aboriginal populations are thought to have concentrated, literature and database surveys of contents of selected Holocene Aboriginal sites have been undertaken; but few remains of Euastacus species, known to be abundant in this region, are recorded. In the light of recent scientific studies of Euastacus, the possible local impacts of harvesting on these crays are outlined and the paucity of remains at Aboriginal sites is considered to be due to: inadequate sampling or sorting of existing collections; poor preservation conditions; dispersal or destruction by scavengers; very low utilisation and correspondingly few recognisable remnants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-105
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales
Volume1998
Issue number119
Publication statusPublished - 1998

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Keywords

  • Aboriginal utilisation
  • Eastern Australian highlands
  • Euastacus
  • Food resources
  • Macro-invertebrates

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