- Better Choice
NT, QLD, NSW
- Mud crabs are caught in recreational and commercial fisheries across northern Australia.
- Caught in commercial fisheries in NT, QLD and NSW, there is no immediate cause for concern regarding stocks. However, the impact on the population of increasing catches in QLD and NSW is uncertain.
- Stocks are protected as juvenile mud crabs must be returned to the water in order to reach breeding size.
- Bycatch of undersized crabs is significant, but these are returned to the water to reach breeding size.
- Crabs are caught in pots and traps, with minimal habitat disturbance.
Mud crabs are highly regarded as eating crabs, a favourite for a table centrepiece whether steamed, stir-fried, or cooked in a curry or sauce. Crabs can be purchased whole (cooked or raw) or as picked and frozen meat. To cook whole crabs, crack any large legs or claws with the back of a knife and then steam, boil or stir-fry. Alternatively, crabs can be broken into equal sized pieces and dropped into a soup, stew or curry. Crabs are cooked when the shell goes a vivid orange or red colour and meat pulls away from the shell with ease. Cooked and picked crabmeat can be tossed through a simple pasta or noodle dish, or used for a seafood cocktail, salad or sandwich.
- QLD Mud Crab Fishery (1,383t 2011)
- NSW Estuary General Fishery (105t 2010)
- NT Mud Crab Fishery (397t 2011)
Mud crabs are caught by recreational and commercial fisheries across northern Australia. While there is no immediate cause for concern around mud crab stocks, the impacts of increasing catches are unknown in both QLD and NSW. In QLD, stocks are partly protected because only male mud crabs are caught and females are returned to the water. Catches of mud crab in NT are relatively small compared to the abundance of the species in Territory waters. Juvenile mud crabs caught in all these fisheries must also be returned to the water in order to reach breeding size.
Mud crabs are mainly caught using crab pots and traps, which are lowered to the seafloor and remain in place until they are lifted up for harvest. Impacts on habitat are minimal.