Are crabs sustainable?

Sustainable crabs are available in parts of Australia and New Zealand. Just look for crab products with the blue fish tick.

What is a crab?

A crab is a decapod (10-legged) crustacean, which generally has a thick shell (exoskeleton) and a single pair of pincers.

Blue swimmer crabs (Portunus armatus), also called ‘blue manna’ or ‘blueys’, are a dinner table favourite. They yield about 35% meat, and have a mild, sweet, nutty flavour. They're found in coastal waters and are a popular species with recreational fishers. 

Crystal crabs, also called snow crabs, are a deep sea species found off the coast of Western Australia. Their soft, edible shell, succulent white flesh and sweet flavour have made them a favourite in Chinese restaurants and Asian export markets.

Check out our sustainable crab recipes.

How do I know if crabs are sustainable?

Crabs carrying the MSC blue fish tick are certified sustainable. MSC labelled crabs come from a fishery that has been independently assessed to the MSC Fisheries standard. Companies using the blue fish tick all along the supply chain have been assessed to ensure products can be traced back to an MSC certified fishery.

Where can I buy sustainable crabs?

You’ll find blue swimmer crabs with the blue fish tick available locally in Mandurah, Western Australia, from retailers including Wattsies Place

The Peel Harvey Estuary, south of Perth, Western Australia, made history as the world’s first shared commercial and recreational fishery to jointly achieve MSC certification and carry the MSC blue fish tick. Close to 100 tonnes of crab a year are landed by commercial fishers, all of which are sold locally, and similar amounts are caught by recreational fishers.

Crab facts

Female blue swimmer crabs can produce up to two million eggs in a single spawning. 

Watch video

Peel Harvey Estuarine Fishery


Explore more sustainable fish to eat

Find more sustainable seafood species that are MSC certified in Australia and New Zealand.

Explore the sustainable seafood guide.


Recipes spotlight

Sustainable seafood recipes

Chefs and seafood lovers from around the world share quick and tasty ways of cooking MSC certified seafood.

Check them out
10 reasons spotlight

10 reasons to choose the blue fish tick

Choose seafood which helps to protect oceans, livelihoods and fish for the future.

Find out more
Buy sustainable seafood

Buy sustainable seafood

Where to find the blue fish tick at supermarkets, fish shops and restaurants.

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