Draft Crab Harvest Strategies

Project overview

Fisheries Queensland has developed draft Harvest Strategies for the Crab fisheries.

Public consultation closed on 31 January 2021.

The documents can still be downloaded from the Document Library (on the right).

Key points of the draft harvest strategies are that they:

1. Identify the fishery objectives. Fishery objectives set out the direction and aspirations to achieve in the long term.  The objectives are to:

  • maintain the crab resources at, or returned to, a target exploitable biomass level that aims to maximise economic yield (MEY) for the fishery


  • minimising and mitigating high ecological risks arising from fishing-related activities
  • maintaining sectoral allocations for the fishery resource
  • maximising profitability for the commercial sector
  • managing excess capacity to improve social and economic benefits
  • monitoring the social and economic benefits of the fishery to the community.

2. Manage the performance of the fishery using key indicators

  • The relative amount of fish biomass of key stock(s) will be measured against target and other reference points.
  • The harvest strategy aims to achieve a target reference point of 60% of the exploitable biomass for key target species.
  • For key stocks, performance indicators and sustainable harvests for all sectors will be estimated from a stock assessment.

3. Sets decision rules for the commercial harvest of key species

  • A change in allowable catch may be triggered if the biomass of the key species falls below the target biomass.
  • To ensure no fishing sector is increasing its catch share at the expense of another, the harvest strategy includes decision rules for maintaining catch shares between sectors. For example, if there is a change to the total allowable commercial catch, changes may also be made to recreational in possession limits.

4. Minimise ecological risks from fishing

  • If an Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA) identifies fishing impacts that are considered to generate an unacceptable level of risk to any secondary or byproduct species’ populations, a review is triggered.
  • The review will investigate the reason for the increased risk, and appropriate management action will be taken to reduce the risk to an acceptable level.
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