Crab fishery managed areas

Queensland's crab fisheries operate throughout the state's coastal waters, including the Gulf of Carpentaria, except for areas that are closed to fishing in general or to crabbing in particular.

Each fishery has a defined area designated by a fishery symbol. These symbols prescribe a geographical area and the apparatus that may be used. The fishery symbols are:

  • C1 (all crabs other than spanner crabs, i.e. mud crabs and blue swimmer crabs)
  • C2 (spanner crabs, managed area A)
  • C3 (spanner crabs, managed area B).

The commercial crab fishery (operating under the C1 fishery symbol) is divided into 3 management regions:

  • EC1 – east coast mud crab
  • GC1 – Gulf of Carpentaria mud crab
  • BC1 – blue swimmer crab (all of Queensland)

The fishery is managed through a total allowable catch (TAC) quota and individual transferable quotas (ITQs). Commercial catch is quota-managed under a total allowable commercial catch for each management region.

The commercial spanner crab fishery is divided into 2 managed areas – 1 in the south and 1 in the north:

  • Managed area A (C2 fishery symbol) is fully developed and accounts for over 95% of the total catch of spanner crabs. The fishery is managed through a TAC quota and ITQs.
  • Managed area B (C3 fishery symbol) is managed via a daily quota, or in-possession limit. The fishery is only small, in both catch and number of participants.

Commercial fishers require a primary commercial fishing licence endorsed with these symbols to harvest crabs in the respective managed areas.

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