Investigating the Blue Swimmer Crab Fisheries in Botany Bay & Lake Illawarra


The Blue Swimmer Crab (BSC, Portunus armatus) are high valued commercial and recreational crab fisheries in Australia. However, there’s little information regarding the movement and recruitment of these species in NSW. The ecology of the larval dispersal, juvenile habitat preference, spawning triggers and migration patterns (male and female crabs) within and near the estuaries in these latitudes differ significantly from other states. This is due to varying environmental and seasonal differences for these species. Therefore, area-specific assessment is vital to establish baseline data for efficient management for a sustainable production towards fishery harvests.


To investigate temporal and spatial patterns in the settlement and juvenile habitat preference of BSC; and the spatio-temporal patterns in growth, diet and condition of juvenile BSC.

Student Benefits

This is part of a Fisheries R&D Corporation (FRDC) project investigating the portunid crab fisheries in NSW. You’ll gain experience in the field working with crabs and assist in maintaining the temperature/salinity logger network.

Through this project, you’ll learn how to:

  • Handle datasets
  • Conduct data analysis
  • Work with researchers at UNSW and DPI

Supervisors: Iain Suthers (BEES-UNSW), Matt Taylor (DPI-Fisheries Port Stephens) and Roshan Hanamseth (PhD candidate)