mud (mangrove) crabs

mud crab image from crabs, Scylla spp., also known as mangrove crabs, occur naturally in association with mangrove swamps and nearby intertidal and subtidal muddy habitats. Mud crabs can exceed 3kg in body weight, yielding high volumes of delicate flavoured meat and are accordingly sought after as a quality food item. Easily caught with simple traps or nets, they remain alive for considerable periods after capture and they are highly valued as an important income source for small-scale fishers throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

Scylla spp. seem to adapt to an aquaculture regime reasonably well, and they have been cultured in China for at least 100 years, and throughout the rest of the region for decades. In Japan, sea-ranching of hatchery reared mud crab seed has been employed but seed production has not proved reliable. Almost all crab aquaculture production relies on wild-caught stock, as larval rearing has not yet reached a commercially viable level for stocking into aquaculture farms. Megumi Minagawa, Takeshi Hayashibara, Motohiko Sano, Motoya Tamaki, Kouki Fukuoka, and Katsuyuki Hamasaki, from the Seikai National Fisheries Research Institute, have published a brief report (in English) entitled Habitat characters of juvenile mud crab, Scylla serrata.

In Australia, Clive P. Keenan, from the Bribie Island Aquaculture Research Center, has published a report entitled Aquaculture of the Mud Crab, Genus Scylla – Past, Present and Future. From the abstract:

Crabs of the genus Scylla are strongly associated with mangrove areas throughout the Pacific and Indian oceans and form the basis of substantial fishery and aquaculture operations. Aquaculture production currently relies on wild-caught seed for stocking ponds, as larval rearing at a commercial scale is still difficult. One of the major problems for effective mud crab management and aquaculture is the likelihood that there are a number of genetically distinct species. Research has demonstrated the presence of at least four distinct species. Laboratory experiments of the larval stages of each species should provide valuable information on each species’ biological and ecological requirements. There are two basic forms of land-based mud crab aquaculture: fattening of crabs with a low flesh content, and grow-out of juveniles to market size. Fattening is a very profitable activity, employing high densities of crabs and low costs. However, total production is low because of mortalities due to cannibalism. Grow-out systems for mud crabs show much more variety and production can be very high. Grow-out systems are usually pond-based, with or without mangroves, although intertidal pens can also be used. Without mangroves, lower stocking rates provide the best return. In shallow mangrove ponds, there are two distinct forms of aquaculture: (i) intensive, with higher stocking rates and supplemental feeding; and (ii) extensive, in large mangrove silviculture ponds where the stocking rate is very low, and no supplemental feeding is involved. Growth rates under all systems are comparable, with production of commercial-sized crabs three to four months after stocking with seed crabs. Further research is required into the habitat preferences of each species so that production techniques can be modified to suit their respective requirements. With advances in the hatchery production of mud crab juveniles for stocking into ponds and enclosures, the future of mud crab aquaculture looks promising.

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10 Responses to mud (mangrove) crabs

  1. hanminko says:

    I am from Myanmar. I want to know about aquaculture of mud crab detaily.May I know about measurement of pens or cages.I wish to find friendly mangroves aquaculture methods. We not have cost of pond.I want also period of culture times.In our country , the technic of crub fatting culture is not developed.

  2. Tony Mulry says:

    I am interested in Mud crab hatchery – What water temperature, salinity , saturated oxygen , nutrients, lighting for maximum survival rates.
    Process of fertilisation of eggs, hormone hyper stimulation?
    Mud crab crablet production
    Food/pellet combinations and growth rates.



  3. Bob says:

    Iam interested in a detailed operational manual for the hatcery and fattening ponds.

    Thank you,


  4. venkatesh says:

    iam intrested inaquacultre because iam study in zoology
    and i have one major paper “aquaculture” and in this page very good.

    Thanking you,

  5. Pingback: I've Got (Soft-Shell) Crabs: A Mid-Atlantic Delicacy & A Podcast | We Are Never Full

  6. JJ Lizarondo says:

    hello everyone,

    Godd news for crab enthusiast!

    Interested in investing in our crab hatchery? we have the technology and other process. we were able to get good survival rate. My partner is a microbiologist. In his experiment we were able to increase the survival of the crablets significanly. investment not that expensive just enough but really good R.O.I. anyway i can email you the details.or call me at:


    JJ Lizarondo

  7. JJ Lizarondo says:

    Crabs Producers in Orani

  8. adrian says:

    hi … my name is adrian and I am interested in starting an aquaculture mud crab farm in the Cook Islands where I believe the climate is suitable for this type of venture.
    Please advise on how to go about in obtaining the equipment required and the viability of having to accomplish this business venture, plus costs to set up.

    thank you … merry xmas, 2008

  9. dinnes says:


    All mud crab lovers , we have a new technology to breed mud crab in plastic racks , it can be done in house or anywhere you wish .Please contact as below .

    60127678757 – Malaysia .

  10. Desmond says:

    I would like to know what’s the water requirement for Mud Crab (PH level, Salt level, Amonia level, & etc)survibility?


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