Crabs of the Adriatic Sea

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There are about 1500 species of crabs in the Adriatic. Some of them are tiny living in the pelagic zone and are food to small blue fish, some of them hide at the bottom between the rocks or in the sand, some of the run on the shore and some of them are firmly attached to rocks. Most of these crabs are small and don’t have any economic significance but are often hunted for fun or as a souvenir.

Bigger crabs, and there are about 220 different kinds, have a very tasteful meat and there is a great demand for them. Therefore, they are over-hunted and their quantity in the Adriatic has decreased significantly.

According to Croatian laws crabs are protected due to excessive commercial exploitation, accidental catch and habitat destruction. For some species (spider crab, common lobster, spiny lobster, slipper lobster) fishing is allowed only to professional fishermen in a particular period of the year, while fishing of certain crabs is permanently banned.

Protected crabs are:

  • Spider crab (Maja squinado)
  • Common lobster (Homarus gammarus)
  • Spiny lobster (Palinurus elephas)
  • Slipper lobster (Scyllarides latus)

According to Croatian laws crabs are protected due to excessive commercial exploitation, accidental catch and habitat destruction. For some species (spider crab, common lobster, spiny lobster, slipper lobster) fishing is allowed only to professional fishermen in a particular period of the year, while fishing of certain crabs is permanently banned.

Protected crabs are:

  • closed season 1 June – 30 November
  • closed season 10 September – 15 May
  • closed season 10 September – 15 May
  • closed season 10 September – 15 May

You can also help:

  • if you report illegal fishing and sales of crabs at telephone number 112
  • if you don’t take the crabs from their habitats because you will most find out about them if you watch them in their natural environment

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