Invasive Crab Species Discovered in SA Waters Raise Concerns

Asian Paddle Crab

Concerns have risen for SA waters following the discovery of a male Asian Paddle Crab in the state’s waters found by a commercial blue swimmer crab fisher. 

Asian Paddle Crabs are an invasive species that threaten our local seafood industries and can be toxic if eaten by humans.

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone says it's alarming on a number of concerns with the crab being an aggressive and exotic species that could spread diseases to our local prawns, crabs, lobsters and outcompete native species like our prized Blue Swimmer Crab.

Minister whetstone says “We’re asking all fishers - commercial, recreational and charters - who are out on the water to keep an eye out for this unwelcome species, to avoid their establishment in our waters.

The Asian Paddle Crab is likely to have entered our waters on a vessel, such as in an anchor locker, bilge, sea chest or internal seawater system.  This is a timely reminder for everyone to keep boats clean.

The State Government is working with fishing groups and tackle shops to increase awareness of the species.”

Asian Paddle Crab – what to look out for:

  • it can grow up to 120mm wide, which is smaller than the Blue Swimmer Crab
  • found in a number of colours – pale, olive green, brown, purple
  • sharp spines between its eyes
  • six spines down each side of the shell.

Locals and fishers are advised to report any unusual crab species to Fishwatch immediately on 1800 065 522 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.