Harbour crabs shunned

A LAWYER representing the interests of fishermen and marine businesses in Gladstone says crabbers are suffering due to a lack of confidence in seafood from Gladstone Harbour.

Law Essentials director Michael Garrahy said the industry was relying on the release of toxicology reports on the crabs, which fishermen requested be performed in September.

He said without the results wholesalers were wary of stocking local crabs.

"There is a few wholesalers that will take them but many will not because of fears of litigation," Mr Garrahy said.

"No local wholesalers are stocking crabs.

"I doubt you'll find anyone locally willing to sell them until the toxicology reports are in."

Mr Garrahy said he believed the toxicology reports would be the key to restoring confidence in local crabs.

A Fisheries Queensland representative said the toxicology report results were expected to be completed and released within two weeks.

Mr Garrahy said healthy crabs were being found in the waterways outside of the harbour and "a handful" were being caught in the harbour.

"The percentage of diseased crabs is lower the further you go away from the harbour," Mr Garrahy said.

When some crabs were found with holes in their shells Mr Garrahy said crabbers were limited to the crabs they were able to sell.

"Crabbers can sell anything that doesn't have a fully blown lesion," he said.