Mud Crab Aquaculture, Best 2 Farming Methods

Mud crab aquaculture is important, although often overlooked part of the aquaculture industry. How are mud crabs farmed, and what do they look like? In this article, we will discuss what exactly “aquaculture” means and how it is applied to mud crabs. Mud crab aquaculture is an important and often overlooked part of the global aquaculture industry. In many parts of the world, people hunt for food in their waters.


What is “aquaculture”?

Aquaculture spread as one of the first industries of man. It is the practice of harvesting seafood from controlled habitats, such as ponds, cages, or pens. It is also called semi-hands on farming, intensive farming, and semi-intensive farming. The major purposes of aquaculture are to fertilize wetlands and to produce food for humans. All these methods can be used for mud crabs too.

What is mud crab aquaculture?

Mud crab aquaculture is the cultivation of mud crabs. These crustaceans are harvested from the wild and bred in captivity on a large scale today. Many countries around the world have mud crabs farmed, with more and more being developed each year. This emerging industry is a great opportunity for many people involved in aquaculture to make huge profits.

Batch Culture
Batch Culture

Advantages of Mud Crab Farming

Mud crab aquaculture is a profitable business, especially for those in developing countries, who can earn huge profits from this industry.

  • The demand for mud crabs has been increasing in the world market.
  • The cost of production is very low.
  • Mud crabs have a large appetite, and thus can be fed with cheaper food at will.
  • This animal can be bred with organic waste materials found in water bodies and rivers, which means that it is a sustainable food source.
  • A healthy colony of mud crabs can produce up to 100 pounds of meat in less than twelve months.
  • Mud crabs have a high reproductive rate.

Disadvantages of Mud Crab Farming

  • It is necessary to invest large amounts of money in the development of mud crab aquaculture.
  • The mud crab has a short life cycle, and thus a large investment is needed to maintain an acceptable size population.
  • Many diseases affect the mud crab and cause die-offs in breeding populations, which means that large amounts of time and money are needed for research into how to control these diseases.

Types of Mud Crabs

There are 3 main species of mud crab grown as far as aquaculture is concerned: the blue mud crab, red land crab, and golden stone crab.

  • The blue mud crab, also known as Scylla Serrata, grows up to about 1 meter wide and 15 centimeters long.
The blue mud crab
The blue mud crab

They have a distinctive purple shell with fringed claws. They are most commonly found in Australia, although some are exported from Japan. They require warm water and are often kept in large groups to ensure that food is evenly distributed throughout their population.

  • The red land crab, also known as Gecarcoidea Natalis, was first identified by Carl Linnaeus in 1758. They are red color and are found in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Africa.
The RED mud crab
The RED mud crab

It is the smallest of the three species at only 7 inches wide and can be kept in a variety of conditions.

  • The golden stone crab, or Cancer olives, is found on the Atlantic Coast of Florida. This species grows to about 11 inches wide and 5 inches long.

Mud Crab Farming Methods

There are two main methods commonly used in mud crab aquaculture: mass culture and batch culture.

Mass Culture

Mass culture is the most common method used for mud crab farming. It involves keeping hundreds of thousands of mud crabs in one large cage or pond. This is a way to lower the cost of production, as there is no need to invest in water filtration systems for this type of operation.

Mass Culture
Mass Culture

Batch Culture

Batch culture is the second most common method of mud crab farming. This involves raising one or two generations of crabs in a pond before harvesting and either returning the baby crabs to the pond or selling them as food.

Water Quality

Mud crab aquaculture is only possible in areas with a steady supply of clear water. The muddy water the mud crab lives in must be clear, and the shoreline must be free of waste materials. This can be achieved through the use of water filtration systems or by using chemicals to remove sediment from the water.

Salinity12% – 25%
Temperature250 – 350 C
pH7.5 – 8.5


Mud crab breeding is possible in several ways. The most common is to use of hormones to stimulate egg production and to adjust the sex ratio. Other methods include keeping eggs from one generation in check, hatching them at a specific time, or blocking the hatchlings from reaching water for a while.

Disease Potential

Some diseases can affect all three species of mud crab, but some are specific to one or two species. One disease, caused by herpesvirus, is specific to the golden stone crab. Other potential diseases that can be fatal to mud crabs include “Aeromonas” bacteria, which attack crustaceans; “Vibrio” bacteria, which cause a condition called vibriosis; and “Candidatus” bacteria, which causes the disease chytridiomycosis.

Fattening System

Mud crabs are fattened in a variety of ways, depending on where they are raised. In Indonesia, they can be starved for as little as a month before being sold to the market. Most mud crabs are kept in cages or ponds before being released into the wild or sold to the market.

There they feed on organic waste, fish food, and vegetable scraps that have been dumped into their habitat. This fattening method is called batch culture.

Fattening System of Mass Culture

In mass culture mud crab farming, the fattening system is a bit more complex. The mud crabs are grown in holding ponds for several months until they reach full size. They are then transferred to fattening ponds, where they are kept for four to six weeks before being sold.

Fattening System of Batch Culture

In batch culture mud crab farming, the mud crabs are kept in fattening ponds for less than two months. This is because the crabs are not as large when fed in ponds for a long period.

Feeding Method

Mud crabs can be fed many things depending on their environment and the time of year. In some areas, people farm them with organic waste materials that humans have thrown away. This includes rice and sago wastes. In other areas, farmers feed them fish food, small fish, and meat while yet in others they use vegetable scraps.

Uses of Mud Crab

Mud crabs are used primarily in the food industry. Their meat is sold as a delicacy and is a popular ingredient in many dishes. Offal, or the internal organs of a mud crab, are often used to make fish paste and gelatine. The shells are also used to create artful items such as cups and watches. They can be served fresh for consumption or can be sold frozen or canned.

Care & Other Management

Mud crabs require a lot of care to stay alive, grow to the appropriate size and maintain good water quality. Mud crabs are a popular product in the food industry, so they must be taken care of to ensure their quality as food. Mud crabs require warmer water than some other aquaculture products, with a temperature between 25-30 degrees Celsius. This means that mud crab farming is possible only in some areas, such as Australia and Southeast Asia.

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