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Australian Mud Crabs Make the Grade

24 December 2012

AUSTRALIA - A new national system to grade live mud crabs will provide a consistent, practical scheme for industry and ensure better quality product for Australian crab eaters.

Developed by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF), the scheme is supported by industry, with the Sydney Fish Market already adopting the scheme.

DAFF Principal Seafood Technician John Mayze said mud crabs were a valuable commercial fishery in Australia, generating at least A$100 million in local retail and restaurant sales every year.

"Many people are involved in the process of getting a mud crab to the plate- from catchers and transport operators, to wholesalers, retailers and restaurant chefs," Mr Mayze said.

"Most mud crabs travel to their final point of sale alive and the quality of the crab at its final destination has a major impact on price and desirability."

Mr Mayze said the new system was a collaboration between DAFF, Sydney Fish Markets, C-AID consultants and with funding support from FRDC.

"Any reduction in downgraded live mud crabs will improve the revenue return along the supply chain," he said.

"Consumers will be better informed about the quality of the product they are choosing, leading to a greater consumer confidence to buy premium quality, live mud crabs."

The project group has formed the new National Mud Crab Industry Reference Group (NMCIRG), which will also drive future directions and opportunities for the Australian mud crab industry.

"Mud crabs are also a highly prized recreational catch and source of food for many indigenous Australians. Each state has different rules on the taking of mud crab - make sure you know your local rules."

TheFishSite News Desk

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