Every year thousands of Australian Giant Spider Crabs march into the shallows of Port Phillip Bay to moult and seek safety in numbers. It is the largest-known crab migration on the planet.

In recent years this spectacular congregation has been intensively targeted by crab harvesting.

Send a letter to key Victorian ministers asking them to protect the spider crabs by creating a no-take period.

You can write your own letter for maximum impact (see guide below) OR Sign the pre-written letter delivered directly to the ministers inboxes.

Between the months of May-July, thousands of admirers also come from far and wide to the Mornington Peninsula to witness this critical and fascinating stage in the spider crabs’ growth right on Victoria’s salty doorstep.

The 2019/2020 seasons saw an unprecedented explosion in crab harvesting, resulting in marine environment destruction, pollution and littering of the seafloor, and increased safety risks to the general public.

Spider crabs need a seasonal no-take period during their vulnerable moulting season from May to July. Join divers, fishers, water users, scientists, local businesses, educators, local and state-wide groups to SOS #saveourspidercrabs.

Rather than safeguarding this unique tourism drawcard, the Victorian Fisheries Authority is not adequately  addressing the issue. Their bag limit reduction from 30 to 15 crabs per day does not address or mitigate the concerns, and risks only further promoting the moulting season as a fishery, given the only recent emergence of intense harvesting. This could make the situation worse in future years.

Ask the Ministers for Fisheries and Environment who have the power to intervene, to protect the spider crabs and prevent future marine damage by creating a no-take period.

Take Action

Send in your own letter – this has maximum impact (see guide below) OR Sign the pre-written letter delivered directly to the Victorian Fisheries Authority and the ministers responsible.

 Send in your own letter

The best way for you to help is to send in your own personalised letter. This has more impact. To do this you can follow these easy steps:

1.Address your letter to the following Victorian Ministers:

The Sonya Kilkenny – Minister for Fishing and Boating
Hon. Ingrid Stitt – Minister for Environment
The Hon. Steve Dimopoulos – Minister for Tourism

NB: Please BCC: [email protected] (so we can capture how many people are taking the action)

2. Use these guiding points and re-word in your own words:

  • I’m concerned about the intensive harvesting of iconic Australian Giant Spider Crabs from popular piers in Port Phillip Bay, the heart of the world renowned and loved annual spider crab migration.
  • Intense targeting of the spider crabs commenced on the Mornington Peninsula in 2019 and escalated in 2020, resulting in the harvesting of large numbers of crabs during their important moulting aggregations, broad community outrage, marine environmental destruction, pollution and increased safety risks to the general public.
  • Scientific research has not yet ben completed to determine the number of spider crabs in Port Phillip Bay. Without the science to indicate the sustainability of removing potentially large numbers of spider crabs during their moulting and potential breeding times, harvesting during this critical time of their life stage should not be permitted.
  • The natural phenomenon of the spider crab moulting aggregations have much greater potential economic benefit and winter tourism value to the region than being harvested en masse.
  • I seek your support for a seasonal no-take period to safeguard the annual spider crab moulting aggregations, from May-July inclusive each year.

3. Insert your own thoughts/opinions/experiences in addition.

4. Sign the letter with your name, postal address, email and phone number

5. Email or post the letter to the Victorian Fisheries Authority and these ministers:


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