Yangtze River Hairy Crab Harvest Begins

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

Luojing farmers collect hairy crabs from the Yangtze River in the traditional way on Sundays.

Harvesting of Shanghai’s hairy crabs began on Sunday to compete with those in neighboring provinces and underline the city’s rural revitalization campaign.

Farmers in Luojing City, northern Baoshan District, started collecting hairy crabs from ponds and rice fields as part of the 2021 Farmers’ Harvest Festival.

Crab lovers will now be able to taste the local seasonal shellfish without leaving Shanghai.

Downtown citizens and expats alike are welcome to enjoy the pastoral scenery and catch the hairy crabs on their own, as well as see how the city’s agricultural produce comes from within the city.

Luojing crabs are known for their size, long legs, tighter flesh and rich eggs as well as a mild, naturally sweet flavor. They grow in the city’s Tap Water Source Conservation Area at the mouth of the Yangtze River.

Crabs spawn there every October in October and the villagers catch the larger baby crabs and raise them in ponds and paddy fields. It takes two years, twice as long as other hairy crabs, for them to reach their normal size. Yangtze River crabs are fed fresh snails, seaweed, corn, fish, and beans.

“The yield remains the same for the hairy crabs produced locally this year, despite the continued rains in summer and the high temperatures after the liqiu, where autumn begins, ”said Bo Huizhong, Party secretary of Haixing Village in Luojing.

“But this year’s hairy crabs are bigger than last year’s and better,” Bo said, adding that the golden season for hairy crab tasting has started.

Harvesting of the Yangtze River Long Leg Hairy Crab Begins

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

A farmer grabs a hairy crab with his hands.

Yangtze River Hairy Crab Harvest Begins

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

The largest male hairy crab in the Yangtze River weighs 480 grams.

The largest male crab from Sunday’s first harvest weighed 480 grams, up from 460 grams last year, while the “king crab” weighed 360 grams, up from 330 grams in 2020.

The Yangtze River Hairy Crab has won the gold medal in a national hairy competition for nine consecutive years to become a highlight of Shanghai’s characteristic agricultural industry.

More than 300 local families ran through the Luojing countryside on Sunday to experience the natural atmosphere of the countryside, rice fields and forest. Runners were also invited to harvest grains while enjoying the fresh air in the city’s flagship rural revitalization areas near the mouth of the Yangtze River.

The crab bonanza and the annual jogging event are part of the city’s efforts to develop tourism to draw downtown foodies. It aims to become the pilot city of Shanghai for the rural revitalization campaign.

The villages of Luojing are among the richest in Shanghai. Tangwan village was listed as one of the first demonstration villages in the city to implement the central government’s rural revitalization plan.

It is followed by four neighboring villages – Haixing, Huahong, Xinlu and Yangqiao – to become an agricultural demonstration zone. Each village has a characteristic product, such as hairy crab, rice and taro.

The village of Tangwan creates China’s first “mother and child mansion” to care for new mothers during their month-long “lockdown” period. Villagers are encouraged to convert their open space to containment, or yuezi, centers.

Yangtze River Hairy Crab Harvest Begins

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

Local families are invited to roam the farmlands and forest of Luojing Town.

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