Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


First view of giant crabs - at home on the slope


Australian scientists have had their first view of the habitats and ecosystem that support Australia’s largest commercial crab - the "giant crab".

A series of five surveys are planned in waters of 150-350 metres depth to assess the seabed habitats of the giant crab (Pseudocarcinus gigas) at the edge of the continental shelf around Tasmania.

The pilot survey was completed on the State’s east coast earlier this month in a collaborative project between CSIRO Marine Research and the Tasmanian Aquaculture and Fisheries Institute (TAFI), University of Tasmania.

"We used a specially designed camera platform towed behind a research vessel to provide a tremendously exciting first look at the type of habitat that supports the giant crab fishery," says project scientist, Dr Alan Williams, from CSIRO Marine Research in Hobart.

"We were as pleasantly surprised by the extremely good detail provided by the new cameras system as we were by the range of habitats we were able to film," he said.

Seafloor features observed ranged from large plains of muddy sands supporting communities of small invertebrate animals, to ridges, and rock outcrops exceeding 20 metres in height.

The project includes a study of the distribution of the giant crab in relation to habitat features, evaluating ecosystem links with the seabed habitats and assessing the abundance, sex, condition and size of the giant crabs.

"The crab trap fishery is a unique Australian fishery, and based in an environment and depth that, until now, we have not had the technology to study in this way," says project leader Dr Caleb Gardner, from the Tasmanian Aquaculture and Fisheries Institute (TAFI).

"Sustainability of all Australian fisheries is reliant on healthy habitats and ecosystems and this project seeks to identify the characteristics of the system and what, if any, impacts are occurring as a result of fishing activity," Dr Gardner said.

The long-lived, slow-growing giant crab is highly sought-after especially in the Asian market. Although mostly sold at around 4kg and with a shell of 20 cm or less, the crab reaches a massive 13.5 kg.

The Tasmanian pot fishery expanded rapidly in the 1990’s and is now targeted across southern Australia in Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia.

Funded by the Tasmanian fishing industry and the Department of Primary Industry, Water and Environment, the project is a joint study involving the Tasmanian Aquaculture and Fisheries Institute, CSIRO Marine Research, and the crab trapping and finfish trawling sectors.

More information:

Dr Caleb Gardner, TAFI, 03-62277277

Dr Alan Williams, CSIRO, 03-62325222

Rosie Schmedding | CSIRO
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'
16.03.2018 | Emory Health Sciences

nachricht Scientists map the portal to the cell's nucleus
16.03.2018 | Rockefeller University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

Im Focus: Radar for navigation support from autonomous flying drones

At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.

Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

International Virtual Reality Conference “IEEE VR 2018” comes to Reutlingen, Germany

08.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Wandering greenhouse gas

16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

'Frequency combs' ID chemicals within the mid-infrared spectral region

16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'

16.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>