all species except European green shore crab, spider crabs including giant spider crab, Eastern Sea Spider and giant crab)

Sand crab

Red shore crab

Red shore crab

Common name/sCrabs (all species except European green shore crabs)
Minimum legal size no minimum
Bag limit

Outside of restricted areas: 30 crabs or 1 litre of whole crabs or parts of crabs

This bag limit does not apply to purchased bait.

Additional information

You can't collect crabs in waters less than 2m deep (the intertidal zone) in Port Phillip Bay. Click here for more information on Port Phillip Bay's intertidal zone.

You can't collect crabs in Marine National Parks and Sanctuaries. Click here for more information on Marine National Parks and Sanctuaries.

See our diagram below to tell the difference between sand crabs and red shore crabs, two commonly found crab species in Victoria.

Outside of restricted areas, only the following methods can be used to collect crabs in marine waters.

-  by hand

-  by spear

-  by using up to 2 bait traps

-  by using up to 2 hoop nets (Note: The closed season for hoop nets is from 15 September to 15 November every year. During this time, hoops nets can only be used in Port Phillip Bay, Western Port Bay, the Gippsland Lakes and any other inlet)

Unwanted catch must be immediately returned to water with the least possible injury or damage. Put unused bait into a rubbish bin. Discarding bait (into the water or on land) is littering, penalties apply.

The number, size and shape of the equipment used is important. It is also important that your equipment is appropriately labelled. Click here for a summary of the fishing gear that can legally be used in Victoria, and how to use it.

Remember, collecting for other people contributes to your bag limit. Click here for more information.

If you're looking for specific information on spider crabs, click here.

Sand crab


Sand crab detail

Red shore crab
Red shore crab detail