News & Media releases

Asian paddle crab alert

An Asian paddle crab (Charybdis japonica) has been found and confirmed this week via taxonomic and molecular analysis.  A single mature female crab was caught at Blackwall Reach, Swan River, Perth, by a recreational fisher on 5th December 2018.

The Asian paddle crab is an aggressive non-native crab that could outcompete native species like the blue swimmer and spread diseases to prawns, crabs and lobsters.

The Department is calling for continued vigilance from the community, recreational fishers and crabbers and sees their assistance as crucial as the five paddle crabs previously detected at Mosman Bay in 2012 and Matilda Bay in 2014, and one in Mandurah in 2010, were all caught by recreational fishers.

The pest crab varies greatly in colour but its definitive features are six sharp spines between the eyes and six spines down each side of the shell.

As part of the management response, the Department is undertaking a range of activities including public awareness and communication engagement campaign and trapping surveys in the Swan River are planned for the coming months.

The Department considers that the measures being taken are keeping the risks to WA’s aquatic environment to a low level.

Download the brochure here to find out more about this aggresive pest.