Giant Crab Fishery

Giant Crab

Fishery Overview

Growth of giant crabs is relatively slow.  To reach the legal minimum length of 150mm carapace length, female crabs take approximately seven years and males take three to four.  The inter-moult period is one of the longest of the crab species and can be up to 15 years for mature females.  Female giant crabs are highly fecund and their ability to store sperm allows them to fertilise their eggs over several successive breeding seasons.  Eggs are released during autumn and incubated under the tail until the following spring when they are released in the shallower depths of the shoulder of the continental shelf.

Total Allowable Commercial Catch

 Catch rate of giant crab (kg/24 hour potlift) corrected for a maximum of 4 days soak, with a slope of 0.38 for all fishers landing > 1000kg of giant crab in a given year and with > 300 days of fishing overall. Dashed red line and solid black line represent limit and trigger reference points, respectively

The Fishing Method

Fishers target giant crabs using baited rock lobster pots.  A pot can have only one entrance and one chamber.  Each pot must have at least one escape gap to allow undersize rock lobster and giant crabs to escape.