Invasive Asian paddle crab concerns in SA

The Asian paddle crab is an aggressive, non-native species. Image: PIRSA

ACCORDING to an article published by The Advertiser, a third invasive Asian paddle crab has been found in South Australian waters in 12 months.

The Asian paddle crab is an aggressive, non-native species that has the potential to out-compete native crabs like the blue swimmer.

The first sighting in SA was reported in September last year, when the invasive pest was caught near Adelaide’s Outer Harbor.

The latest capture, involving a male Asian paddle crab, was made by a recreational fisher who reported the find to Fishwatch.

Wildcatch Fisheries SA president Dennis Holder told The Advertiser it was important the species did not get a chance to establish itself in the state’s waters.

“It’s always a concern when something foreign turns up,” Holder said.

“With exotic species, it’s hard to know whether they could take off like rabbits.”

Holder said recreational fishers could play a key role in protecting the state’s seafood industry against the unwanted arrival.

“If you’ve got any doubts about a species you’ve never seen before, please take a photograph and send it to Fishwatch,” he said.

SA Recreational Fishing Advisory Council chairman Graham Keegan said with COVID-19 and snapper fishing bans, the industry did not need any more challenges to confront at the moment.

“The last thing we need is an invasive species wiping out our blue swimmer crab industry,” Keegan said.

“We need everyone’s eyes on the water and reporting any sightings.”

According to Primary Industries and Regional Development Minister Tim Whetstone, Asian paddle crabs have the potential to carry diseases such as white spot.

“The Asian paddle crab is not currently established anywhere in Australia and we must do everything we can to make sure that doesn’t happen in SA,” Whetstone said.

Any paddle crab sightings can be reported to Fishwatch (1800 065 522) or by emailing PIRSA (

Source: The Advertiser

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