The Asian shore crab (Pacific crab or Japanese shore crab) can be distinguished by the spots on its claws and 3 spines either side of the eyes. It is only a small species of crab, approximately 4cm shell width. It can be found in estuarine and marine habitats.
It is currently not recorded in Australia, but if introduced, has the potential to compete with and prey upon native fish, crab and shellfish species.
Asian shore crab / Hemigrapsus sanguineus
Similar native species
These native species may be confused with this marine pest.
Swift-footed crab / Leptograpsus variegatus
Smooth shore crab / Cyclograpsus audouinii
Sowrie / Plagusia glabra
On the 1st July the NSW Government implemented the new Biosecurity Act 2015 (the Act). Under Schedule 2 of this Act the Asian shore crab is declared as prohibited matter in NSW. This means it is illegal to possess, buy, sell or move this pest in NSW. Heavy penalties apply for non-compliance. In addition, NSW DPI has the power to require the destruction of this pest.
People are expected to have a basic level of knowledge about the biosecurity risks they might encounter in their normal work and recreational activities. All community members have a general biosecurity duty to consider how actions, or in some cases lack of action could have a negative impact on another person, business enterprise, animal or the environment. We must then take all reasonable and practical measures to prevent or minimise the potential impact.
Learn to recognise, and be aware of, the Asian shore crab so that you can report any suspected new sighting.
If you see this pest in NSW, please report it immediately