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Fisheries Queensland
20-05-2013, 10:42 AM
Queensland Government
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

Media release
20 May 2013

Is your mud crab running on empty?

Those who have eaten the succulent flesh of a full mud crab know what an enjoyable dining experience it can be. However, some unlucky diners have experienced disappointment upon discovering their prize crab is not full of flesh.

Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol Field Officer Mark Saul has urged recreational fishers to assess whether their prized catch is full or empty.

“Taking home an empty mud crab is likely to result in a disappointing end to a good day’s fishing,” Mr Saul said.

“Generally, crabs that are low on meat have recently moulted their shell and have not had a chance to fill their body cavity with flesh.

“Recently moulted crabs will often contain mostly liquid or a jelly mass with little edible flesh,” he said.

“Whether you’re an avid crabber, or you buy them at the local market, you can ensure every crab you catch or buy is full by following a few simple tips.

“Firstly, take a look at the shell condition. A crab that has recently moulted will have a very clean, shiny and intact shell. Sometimes the shell will appear translucent.

“Full mud crabs often have algae or barnacles on the shell. Their shells are also likely to exhibit some general signs of wear and tear, such as worn inner ‘teeth’ on the claws.”

Mr Saul said professional crabbers check each individual crab for fullness by pressing the shell at specific locations.

“There are a couple of areas on the crab shell that provide a good indication of fullness.

“You can apply pressure with your thumbs to either side of the carapace or by turning the crab over and pressing firmly on the abdomen plates adjacent to the third leg. If the shell flexes at all, the crab is not full.

“For crabs where the shell appears new, be careful not to press too hard as your thumbs will penetrate the shell.

“Crabbers should ensure the crab is firmly tied or restrained before attempting to test the shell.”

Mr Saul urged crabbers to return empty mud crabs to the water as soon as possible.
“Mud crab growth is very rapid. When empty mud crabs are returned to the water they become full of meat and are a better quality catch within a few weeks,” he said.

“It’s a case of being a responsible fisher and helping to ensure the sustainability of recreational crabbing for future generations.”

Mr Saul said recreational crabbers should also be aware of Queensland fishing laws before going fishing.

“Before dropping a pot, ensure you are familiar with Queensland’s mud crab minimum possession and size limits.

“In Queensland, the legal possession limit is 10 mud crabs per person and the minimum allowable size is 15cm. This is measured across the widest part of the mud crab’s carapace,” he said.

“Fishers are also reminded that female mud crabs are a protected species and must not be taken from Queensland waters.

“It’s easy to tell the difference between the two: a male mud crab has a V-shaped flap on the bottom of its shell, while a female mud crab has a more rounded flap on the bottom of its shell.”

To learn how to correctly identify and measure mud crabs, view the YouTube video on crab rules in Queensland at www.youtube.com/fisheriesqld (http://www.youtube.com/fisheriesqld).

Catch the latest fishing rules at www.fisheries.qld.gov.au (http://www.fisheries.qld.gov.au/) or call 13 25 23.

Follow Fisheries Queensland on Facebook and Twitter (@FisheriesQld).

Media: Jo Anglesey, 3087 8601

aus2045
20-05-2013, 09:45 PM
If I ever catch a Mud Crab in Qld. They may be very common in SEQ and NSW but they are a very rare capture here around Capricornia. Have you considered a restocking program for the fished out areas like the Narrows/Fitzroy Delta in Central Qld?

TheRealAndy
21-05-2013, 01:31 AM
Isn't soft shell crab all the rage in restaurants?

gruntahunta
21-05-2013, 04:31 AM
Isn't soft shell crab all the rage in restaurants?

All Crabs shed their shells from time to time as they grow. Once they’ve moulted they have a period of about 2 hours when their new shell is developing and hardening and they are edible shell-and-all. So ‘soft shell Crabs’ are not a particular species of Crab, but any Crab that’s undergoing this process. Some Crabs, however, are more commonly sold with soft shells. On the east coast of the USA it’s the highly prized Blue Crab that is harvested from the wild. In Australia high-tech aquaculture has begun, with Blue Swimmer and Mud Crabs being carefully monitored by robotics that detect when the Crabs have just moulted. The Crabs are then removed from the water which stops the recalcification of their shells (as they can no longer access calcium from the water).

Si
21-05-2013, 10:40 AM
NT Fisheries have laws that state you have to return to the water any Commerically Unsuitable Crabs (CUC's), i.e any crabs that have just moulted and are generally empty. A good way to check if your crab is good is given in the link.

http://www.nt.gov.au/d/Content/File/p/Fishnote/FN28.pdf

Qlder1
21-05-2013, 11:15 AM
If I ever catch a Mud Crab in Qld. They may be very common in SEQ and NSW but they are a very rare capture here around Capricornia. Have you considered a restocking program for the fished out areas like the Narrows/Fitzroy Delta in Central Qld?



Give it a rest mate, Cap area is as good as anywhere for crabs and fish, getting a bit tired of you bagging this area out.

Rip it up
21-05-2013, 04:39 PM
I also live, work and fish the Gladstone narrows area and I can always pick up a dozen good crabs every trip I go out. I think we are blessed in CQ for quality seafood.

Forget the media hype of the LNG plants just get out and fish. There is heaps around.

We had a local gathering of crabbers in Toolooa bends last weekend and caught over 300 for the weekend. Many returned to live another day. Nothing wrong with the systems up here.

aus2045
22-05-2013, 08:52 PM
Give it a rest mate, Cap area is as good as anywhere for crabs and fish, getting a bit tired of you bagging this area out.

Sorry just the way I see it. Just commenting on my experiences, not trying to bag your area.