Gulf Mud Crab

Harvest to Table

At harvest, only crabs that meet legal minimum requirements and our high expectations for a quality A-grade crab are chosen. Crabs that do not meet either criteria are safely returned to the water.

To reduce mortality rates, harvested crabs have their claws tied to eliminate injury, and are then carefully placed in crates stored in quiet conditions away from excessive sunlight, wind, noise, and vibrations. When taken to the land-based facility, recovery process procedures are carried out to identify any weak crabs for separation, promote rehydration, and remove all contaminates (organic and inorganic), ensuring a clean, quality product by the time the crab is delivered.


The Queensland Mud Crab Fishery is managed by Fisheries Queensland and the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, both of which oversee the fishery’s activities in strict accordance with ecologically sustainable developed principles. Firm controls are in place to manage the commercial harvest of mud crabs and assist in maintaining a sustainable industry. These controls include:

  • the prohibition of harvesting female crabs
  • minimum legal size requirements
  • apparatus restrictions
  • float size constraints
  • marine park zoning,
  • creek closures and limited commercial entry

Crab pots are commonly used by the fishery, which means their activities have very little interaction with threatened species, minimal by-catch, and very little environment damage associated with crab capture.

The most recent annual status report indicates that the Gulf of Carpentaria mud crab stock is still considered “sustainably fished”.