The Mighty Mud Crab
September 4th 2008 12:20
Growing to over 25 cm across and 2 kg in weight, they have a smooth muddy greenish coloured carapace and powerful claws. live specimens should be handled with care, even when tied up, as they are capable of inflicting serious injuries.
‘Muddies’ are sold locally and interstate to retailers, wholesale markets and restaurants. They are sold live or cooked. Though they change to an attractive uniform red colour when they are cooked and yield a lot of meat, some people do not relish the slightly earthy taste.
The Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries is responsible for regulating commercial and recreational mud crab fishing in Queensland. They are commercially caught using baited pots in intertidal zones, predominantly between December and June. In Queensland the major mud-crabbing areas are Moreton Bay, the Narrows (near Gladstone), Hinchinbrook Channel and Princess Charlotte Bay.
Mud crabs are a particularly important "icon" species to the tourist and hospitality trade. They are also popular with recreational fishers who must also abide DPI&F regulations.
There is no closed season for recreational fishing of muddies but no more than four crab pots or dillies may be used per person and they must be marked by an identifying tag bearing the owners surname and address.
Mud crabs must be 15 cm across the carapace from tip to tip, and 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.
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