Investing into sustainable crab harvests

The Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) has just invested $450 000 into research to ensure NSW crab populations will be fished sustainably into the future.

Commercial crab fishing in NSW is worth around $10m, plus crabs are a favourite with recreational fishers too. However, catches vary greatly from year to year and the reasons for this are not well understood.

“Results from this research, co-founded by the FRDC and the NSW Recreational Fishing Saltwater Trust, and led by NSW DPI in partnership with University of NSW and University of Newcastle, will be used by fishery managers to inform their decisions on catch levels and other strategies to maintain a healthy crab population into the future” Says FRDC’s Communications Manager Peter Horvat.

The project aims to investigate how changes in the crabs’ environment may influence spawning, migration, and the ability for young crabs to survive to adulthood. The project will also use this information to undertake a targeted release trial for Blue Swimmer Crab, and monitor its outcomes.

The FRDC, through investing in knowledge, innovation, and marketing, aims to increase economic, social and environmental benefits for Australian fishing and aquaculture, and the wider community.

The FRDC is a co-funded partnership between its two stakeholders, the Australian Government and the fishing and aquaculture sectors.