Fisheries Need Feedback On Port Stephens Mud Crabs

Local crabber ‘claws’ with a prime mud crab.


WITH the retail price of mud crabs hovering around $60/kg they were a much sought after crustacean by both professional and recreational fisherfolk alike.

They still are, although the price has crashed to around the $20 mark.

This was the result of the collapse of the export market to China.

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It is believed that recreational fishers catch more mud crabs than the professionals and that is why researchers need our help.

The mud crab’s life cycle is fascinating with the females spawning at sea.

Each carries some two million to five million eggs under the flap beneath their shell and the hatchlings drift into bays and inlets to complete their life cycles.

They live for about four years and NSW is one state where you can keep female crabs as long as they are not carrying eggs.

Females are easily identified as they have smaller nippers and a larger flap than the males.

Mud crabs feed at night, spending their days in burrows around the foreshore and in the mangroves.

Fisheries researchers want to know more and here is where you can help.

If you catch any mud crabs, look for a ‘T bar’ tag which is attached where the swimmer fin joins the main body of the crab.

Note the details of the tag number, the location of the catch, the date caught and the shell length.

Ring fisheries on 4982 1232 and they will use the feedback to expand their knowledge and ensure a sustainable future for the mud crab in Port Stephens.




A boat ramp sign requesting details for research.

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