|paapaka (Maori), swimming crab, south pacific crab, New Zealand sea crab, étrille (France), Gazami, menagazami (Japan)|
Paddle crab caught using baited pots are the best choice and are ok to eat, while paddle crab caught as bycatch in trawl fisheries is a worst choice and should be avoided.
Paddle crabs are found around New Zealand and southern Australia, where they are widely distributed in sandy, shallow waters. In New Zealand they are mainly caught off the east coast of the North Island, from the eastern Bay of Plenty northwards.
Paddle crabs are targeted by using pots with less than 10% taken as bycatch in trawl and dredge fisheries. Concerns include the limited research on paddle crabs, resulting in the unknown sustainability of recent catch levels, uncertainty over stock status and basic biological information. There is also no management plan. Pot caught crabs have relatively low impacts on habitat: this is a good fishing method, while for trawl or dredge-caught there are concerns about habitat damage caused and bycatch associated with those fisheries.
Not certified under any scheme.
Paddle crabs are sold in New Zealand and Japan.
Regional differences between pot, trawl and dredge-caught paddle crabs were assessed. Baited pot-caught paddle crabs are the best choice and rated amber, ok to eat, while paddle crabs caught in the dredge and trawl fisheries as bycatch are rated red and should be avoided.
|Score:||All methods – D|
|Population size:||Unknown. Estimates of current and reference biomass are not available.|
|Annual catch limit:||Limit set at 765 tonnes since 2002.|
|Recorded catch:||Total landings of 71 tonnes reported in 2014-15, which is the lowest catch for nearly 15 years and less than 10% of the catch limit. Landings mainly in PAD 1 and 3.|
|The Ministry of Primary Industries assessment plenary report includes:||For all QMAs (quota management areas): “Estimates of current and reference biomass are not available. Paddle crabs are abundant throughout most of their range and the fishery is probably only lightly exploited.” (MPI 2015, p 855-856).|
|Score:||All methods – B|
|Distribution:||Widely distributed around New Zealand on sandy seabeds in shallow waters.|
|Maximum age (years):||Unknown|
|Age at sexual maturity:||3-4 years (uncertain)|
|Growth rate:||Moderate to high|
|Reproductive output:||High (uncertain)|
|Age exploited:||3-4 (uncertain)|
|Ability to recover:||Moderate|
|Score:||Pot – B, trawl or dredge caught – E|
|Fishing method(s):||Baited traps and pots. Also caught as bycatch in trawl and dredge fisheries, but this is less than 10% of catch.|
Pot: Low, except in sensitive habitats.
Trawl/dredge: Can have significant habitat impacts altering seafloor communities.
|Habitat of particular significance:||hasn’t been defined in New Zealand.|
Pot: Minor for baited traps or pots, apart from some octopus and hagfish.
Trawl/dredge: Range of seabed dwellers and fish bycatch associated with these fisheries.
|Ecological effects:||Paddle crabs are a food source for other marine species, such as octopus. Their potential depletion may alter food web dynamics and, combined with damage caused to seafloor habitats, may impact associated communities.|
|Score:||Pot – A, trawl or dredge – D|
Pot: No known bycatch of seabirds, marine mammals or turtles.
Trawl/dredge: Depending on fishery can have seabird, marine mammal, shark, coral and sponges bycatch.
|Management component:||Single species – stock structure is not known.|
|Quota Management Species:||Yes, since 2002.|
|Management plan:||There is no approved inshore plan.|
|Stock assessment:||No quantitative stock assessment and little directed research.|
|Research:||There is no directed research.|
|Observer coverage:||Unobserved in baited pots. Inshore trawl fishery coverage is less than 2%.|