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Farms in Potential Threat to Crab Stocks

AUSTRALIA - As Queensland aquaculture farms begin supply much sought-after blue swimmer and mud crabs to the market, the region's crab fishermen are becoming concerned about their businesses and their consumer image.

The market does not restrict the farmed species - by size or sex - whereas the wild caught males have to be of a minimum size and females must be returned to the water.

According to the Sunshine Coast Daily, Primary industries and fisheries minister Tim Mulherin said consumers should not be alarmed if they see smaller or females crabs because the farmed products did not affect “sustainability of the wild populations”.

“The farmed crabs will likely be sold directly to restaurants, as the premium tasting product is highly sought after, but from time to time some product may be on offer through seafood retailers,” he said.

“The high degree of control of farmed environments... allows for greater consistency and quality of product as well as minimising environmental impacts,” he added.

View the Sunshine Coast Daily story by clicking here.