Biosecurity alert - Asian paddle crab

News Update 17 December 2018

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development has advised the City of South Perth that Asian paddle crab (Charybdis japonica) has been confirmed via taxonomic and molecular analysis.  A single mature female crab was caught at Blackwall Reach, Swan River, Perth, by a recreational fisher on 5 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.

If you think you have found or seen an Asian paddle crab:

  • Please examine it closely (by comparing it against the pest alert and make a note of where you saw or caught it.
  • Fishers are also urged to take photos of the suspect crab, especially from above, keep the specimen and phone the FishWatch 24 hour hotline on 1800 815 507 as soon as possible.
  • If you receive crab reports please forward their contact details to

To find out more, visit the Department's website.

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