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Fresh Blue Swimmer Crabs - 'Tis The Season

October 31st 2008 05:44
Fresh Blue Swimmer Crab Platter Recipe
Crabs are found in all the oceans of the world and are invariably considered a delicacy. In QLD there are three varieties of crabs subject to commercial fishery, spanner crabs, blue swimmer crabs, and mud crabs.
Blue swimmer crabs (Portunus pelagicus) are also known as blue manna or sand crabs, and are found in coastal waters throughout Australia, except for Tasmania. Inhabiting bays and estuaries to a depth of 60 metres, they prefer muddy or sandy bottoms but are also found on rubble, seagrass and seaweed, where they feed on shellfish, worms and brittle-stars on the sea floor.
Raw Blue Swimmer Crab Fishing Season

Male blue swimmer crabs can grow to 19 or 20 cm across and a maximum weight of one kilogram. As the name suggests, they are blue, with a white underside, and have paddles on the hindmost pair of legs for swimming.
Male blue swimmer crab underside bottom

The Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries is responsible for regulating commercial and recreational fishing in Queensland. Most importantly, it is illegal to take the female crabs, which are known as jennies. They can be identified by their broader tail, which is curled up against the underside of the shell.

Female Blue Swimmer Crab underside bottom

Crab pots Dilly pots fishing DPI&F
Credit DPI&F
According to the DPI&F about 80 per cent of Queenslands blue swimmer crab harvest is taken between November and May in water deeper than 3 metres, mainly in Moreton Bay, Hervey Bay and nearby offshore waters. They are commercially harvested using baited dillies and collapsible pots. Blue swimmers are also taken as by catch during prawn and scallop trawling.
Fresh cooked blue swimmer crab sandwiches

Most blue swimmers are sold within southern Queensland and some are sold interstate but there is virtually no overseas export. When cooked, blue swimmers become vivid red with a white underside. The flesh is white and the flavour is delicate. It is suitable for any dish requiring crab or crabmeat. There is a kiosk on The Spit that is famous for its crab sandwiches and with summer coming it is a perfect time to try one.

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2 Comments. [ Add A Comment ]

Comment by Cibbuano

November 1st 2008 21:35

Comment by GlenB

November 3rd 2008 03:29
The Spit is on the Gold Coast at Main Beach, past Marina Mirage and Seaworld. It is where the Seaway divides the tip of the promontory from the southern tip of South Stradbroke Island.
The Volunteer Marine Radio Tower is right on the point and the kiosk is just back from it.

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