Dave Lindo, Gleaner Writer
PORUS, Manchester:THE UNCLE and nephew team of Ruddy and Errol Moore have been eking out a living catching and selling crayfish, or what many Jamaicans know as Janga, in their community of Berrydale in Manchester since they were children.
Driving along the winding Porus to Scotts Pass roadway amid the flurry of fruit vendors, the Moores can be seen on the roadside shouting "Shrimps! Shrimps!" as they attempt to sell their crayfish, which look like small lobsters, to passing motorists.
"This is the only thing we know from we a yute," Ruddy said. "Right here, (Berrydale community) we don't have much to do, no work, so we just have to create our own living, which is selling crayfish. We get them from the river (Rio Minho), which runs through our community, so we make use of it."
The catching of the crayfish itself makes a very interesting story. As Errol explained; "We season and fry chicken back to attract the crayfish, and about 2 a.m. we go to the river.
"We put a fine net in the water first, then we mud up or dirty up the water and then put the chicken back in the water on a piece of stick. We put out all lights and wait awhile - for about 20 minutes. The crayfish are then attracted to the chicken back and then we catch them with the net - about three or four of us."
He added: "We dump the small ones back in the river and take the bigger ones. Sometimes we catch some real big ones. Two of them weigh one and a half pounds. We use bicycle spokes to spear them."
They catch the crayfish on a seasonal basis. "We catch them like from November to December go straight back until February," Ruddy said. "After that, we don't catch them, because that time is their mating season."
The Moores are able to survive from this activity. "A it we use and send our pickney to school, put food on our table, we don't know anything else," Ruddy said.
Over the years, they have built a clientele. "People from all over come here to buy crayfish," Errol said. "Sometimes people call and make orders, how much pound they want. People will come from as far as MoBay, Kingston just to buy crayfish and return home."
Ruddy added: "People even call us from foreign and tell us that they are coming x time and that we must leave a certain amount for them, and we just freeze it and save it for them."
The duo also has tips for preparing the crayfish. "You boil them first until the shell turns red," Errol said. "You throw off that water then cook it in some other water, put in pepper, scallion, cock soup, thyme. Some people make crayfish soup; some shell them and curry it with rice. Crayfish nice man!"