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Giant Tasmanian King Crab (Pseudocarinus gigas) Photographs and Information

Giant Crab is also known as giant deepwater crab, giant Tasmanian crab, king crab and queen crab.

The Giant Tasmanian Crab is the largest of all Australian crabs and second only in size to the giant King Crab found off Japan. 

It has a white shell and claws are splashed with red.  These crabs are very good to eat.

It is reasonably plentiful between 90 and 150 metres depth in Bass Strait and off the eastern coast of Tasmania in the southern waters of Australia on the edge of the continental shelf.  It can weigh over 13kg and measure 36cm across the body and have arms with giant pincers around 46cm long.

It is a commercially fished species. The species has been commercially fished in Tasmanian waters since 1992. 

The Tasmanian giant crab has a white shell with claws that are splashed in red. The females' shells change colors when they are producing eggs.


Did you know?
Crabs have blue blood, Worms have green blood, and Starfish have clear

How a Crab Sheds its shell or "Moults":
A crab’s growth isn’t continuous, but results from a series of moults that happen when it reaches the size of its current shell. Moulting is triggered by hormones. A new ‘cuticle’ (hard protective layer) is secreted under the old shell. The crab rapidly absorbs water, splitting its shell along suture lines, then backs out of the old shell. Substances stored within the crab’s body are rapidly redeposited to harden the new cuticle into a larger shell. The fluid in the body is replaced with meat during a period when the crab feeds voraciously.

Pseudocarinus gigas, giant deepwater crab, giant Tasmanian crab, king crab, giant crab

Map showing where King Crab or Giant Tasmanian Crab are found in Australian Waters

Scientific Name Pseudocarinus gigas
Location Bass Strait and eastern Tasmania
Season All year round
Size To 13kg
Australian Species Code 00 701001
Taste, Texture Good to eat.


Nutritional Information
For every 100 grams raw product
for Crab meat.

Kilojoules na
Cholesterol 58 mg
Sodium na
Total fat (oil) 0.9 g
Saturated fat 22% of total fat
Monounsaturated fat 20% of total fat
Polyunsaturated fat 57% of total fat
Omega-3, EPA 137 mg
Omega-3, DHA 90 mg
Omega-6, AA 86 mg

Male and female crab identification


crabsex, Illustration showing male and female crab identification

Cooking King Crab:

Pseudocarinus gigas, giant deepwater crab, giant Tasmanian crab, king crab, giant crab, australian crab, largest crab in australiaRegardless of the type of Crab, look for ones which feel heavy for their size and have their legs and claws intact. With dead Crabs, if possible, give them a gentle shake to ensure there’s no sound of sloshing water. Live Crabs should be vigorous. Females with eggs are always protected, and in Queensland catching any female Crabs is prohibited (except for Spanner Crabs without eggs). How to humanely kill a Crab for cooking:
It is recommended that all crustaceans are immersed in a salt water/ice slurry for a minimum of 20 minutes before boiling, broiling, pithing or cutting. This ensures the animal is immobilised before procedures that may cause pain are carried out. Crabs can be steamed, poached, deep-fried, stir-fried, pan-fried, grilled or barbecued. Don’t try to pick raw crabmeat, it’s almost impossible as the flesh is too watery. If you need crabmeat, place chilled whole Crabs in a large pot of rapidly boiling water, that has been well salted (½ cup table salt to 2.5 litres water), for 8 minutes per 500g up to 1kg, or 5 minutes per 500g for larger specimens (timed from when the water returns to the boil). Refresh them in iced water then twist off legs and claws, crack and remove the meat with a Crab pick, skewer or crochet hook. Recipes, Video Recipes, Nutritional information for Crab

Commercial Fishing for King Crab or Giant Tasmanian Crab:

In Australia, the giant crab (Pseudocarcinus gigas) fishery is a comparatively small fishery with annual harvest set at 62.1 tonnes, but is of comparatively high value, with the landed valued estimated to be around $2 million. The fishery is also relatively new in that it has only been commercially targeted since the early 1990s. In that time the virgin stock has been fished down and the fishery has become fully exploited. In the short life of the fishery it has moved from effectively being open access to limited entry to individual transferable quotas. Giant crab fishing takes place in deeper waters in the western rock lobster zone. Giant crabs can only be taken using commercial rock lobster pots. Buyers and sellers of King Crab are listed.


More links about Giant Tasmanian Crab & King Crab Information

Exporters of King Crab, Importers of King Crab, Processors and wholesale suppliers of King Crab, New Giant Crab Rules from Fisheries Tasmania, Giant Crab Catch Updates, Profile of the Victorian Giant Crab Fishery, Australian Fisheries Statistics.







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