Giant Crab Enhanced Data Collection
Innovative approaches to enhance data collection in the Victorian, South Australian and Tasmanian Giant Crab Fisheries
Giant Crabs are a long-lived, slow growing species. They are distributed from southern Western Australia to central New South Wales and are considered a single stock across southern Australia. Giant Crab are fished commercially in Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania.
Sustainable management of catch is dependent on the ability to effectively monitor the stock status of this important commercial fishery. However, biological information for Giant Crab is limited due to the deep-water habitat this species lives in, the small size of the fishery and Giant Crab’s life history traits.
A collaborative project to address the knowledge gaps limiting this data poor fishery is underway in Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania, and is expected to be completed by January 2023.
The project is developing and testing new technology that will capture images and collect data (size, sex and individual identification) on-board commercial vessels to improve fishery management decision making and the sustainability of Giant Crab fisheries. The project will:
- Develop and trial the use of vessel-based camera technology to automate the collection of biological data in Giant Crab fisheries in Tasmania, Victoria and South Australia
- Establish a central data storage location to inform cross jurisdictional management
- Investigate use of the new data to enhance stock assessments
A steering committee consisting of science, management and Giant Crab fishers has been established to oversee delivery of the project.