A cast of spanner crabs on the back of a commercial vessel. Photo: Fisheries Queensland Facebook

Spanner crab monitoring Queensland

What kind of red crab walks forwards and backwards instead of sideways?

If you said a spanner crab, you’re absolutely right!

They’re a high sought after delicacy and our scientists are hitting the water to take part in the 21st annual fishery-independent spanner crab survey!

Fishery Monitoring staff will be working onboard chartered commercial vessels to gather size, sex and abundance information on spanner crabs across 5 regions of southern Queensland.

This information helps our fisheries managers work with commercial fishers and scientists to determine the total allowable commercial catch (TACC) and ensure the stock remains sustainable.

Fisheries Technician Natalia with a male spanner. Photo: Fisheries Queensland Facebook


Fisheries Queensland has conducted a biological monitoring program for spanner crabs since 2000. The objectives of the monitoring are to estimate abundance of crabs and develop a time series of data to improve the certainty of stock assessments. In 2006, New South Wales Department of Primary Industries adopted a similar survey technique, and data sharing arrangements for management of the joint fishery were put in place.

How are they monitored?

An annual survey is carried out in May using chartered commercial or department vessels. Sampling is conducted at pre-determined sites within the main fishing area between Gladstone and the Gold Coast, using standard commercial fishing gear. All crabs captured are measured and have their sex determined before being returned to the water. Information is also collected periodically about any other species caught incidentally using the standard fishing gear.

Learn more about our spanner crab monitoring program

About Bush 'n Beach Fishing mag

Check Also


Cracking shallow inshore reef codes

When possible, we like to get out to the reefs off Redcliffe. These shallows provide …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *