Crabs (all species except giant crabs and European shore crabs)

Sand crab

Red shore crab

Red shore crab

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

Outside of restricted areas: A combined total limit of 1 litre of crabs from one of more species not exceeding 30 while crabs.

This bag limit does not apply to purchased bait.

Additional information

* There is no recreational fishery for giant crab in Victorian waters.

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.

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)

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.

Sand crab


Sand crab detail

Red shore crab
Red shore crab detail