Spanner Crab Harvest Strategy

The NSW Spanner Crab Harvest Strategy has been developed by the Spanner Crab Harvest Strategy Working Group, a sub-committee of CommFish NSW, with support from Fisheries staff. Harvest strategies are developed under the NSW Harvest Strategy Policy and Guidelines, and are also a key deliverable under the NSW Marine Estate Management Strategy 2018-28.

The Harvest Strategy applies to the NSW component of the east coast Spanner Crab (Ranina ranina) stock, which NSW shares with Queensland.

The Goal of the Spanner Crab Harvest Strategy is 'To contribute, in cooperation with Queensland, to maintaining a robust and sustainable Spanner Crab stock to support a profitable commercial fishery and social, cultural and economic benefits to the community.'

The NSW Spanner Crab Harvest Strategy has the following key elements:

* A Goal and Strategic Objectives that link the strategy to relevant legislation and policy

* Strategic Objectives to:

  • Maintain sustainable stock levels and avoid severely compromising recruitment;
  • Manage risks and improve opportunities for profitable commercial fishing in the Spanner Crab fishery over the long term to support flow on effects to the community;
  • Consider the interests of recreational fishers and Aboriginal people in management of the fishery

* Operational Objectives to:

  • Maintain Spanner Crab stock biomass around a target of 48% of unfished biomass;
  • Implement a targeted rebuilding strategy if biomass decreases to or below 20% of unfished biomass

* Decisions rules that reduce or increase catch levels according to changes in Spanner Crab stock health.

The NSW Spanner Crab Harvest Strategy, together with all other relevant information, will inform the Secretary of the department or the Total Allowable Fishing Committee in making Total Allowable Catch determinations for Spanner Crab in the Ocean Trap and Line Fishery. Objectives and decision rules also aim to maintain biomass at levels supporting the interests of non-commercial sectors as well as ecological sustainability.