The Crustaceans of the Gold Coast

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: September 11, 2017

Reading time: 3 mins

The Gold Coast has long been a hotspot for trawlers, who have caught and sold their daily catches for decades.

Prawn trawlers, tuna long liners, and crab trawlers all find themselves at home in the warm waters around the Gold Coast, where there are numerous varieties of fish and crustaceans to spot, catch, and serve up.

The boats leave the coast in the late evening, trawling their way through the night, and then return in the morning with boats piled high with the freshest seafood. Many of the trawlers sell their goods directly from their boats, and tourists and locals alike flock to the shores to pick up fresh food at the start of the day.

Crustaceans form a large part of the marine life in the Gold Coast, and you can find numerous species of crab, prawns, molluscs and everything in between in this part of Australia.

Crabbing is a popular activity here for all the family, giving you the chance to try your hand at becoming a trawler for a few hours.

Though there are many species of crab in the region, the light-blue soldier crab is one of the most popular. It is thought to be one of the most-loved crabs in the whole of Australia, and tends to be found on the sandy beaches of the country, including around the Gold Coast.

These distinctive creatures measure about 25 mm across, and boast a beautiful colouring of white with blue blacks. You can often find them hunting in the sands, looking for detritus to feed off. As they go, they leave rounded pellets of discarded sand behind.

If you find yourself on a Gold Coast beach around low tide times, keep an eye out for the blue soldier “armies”, made up of the males of the species who form together in large groups to go hunting for food. When the tide rises, they dig into the sand and wait for it to lower again so they can continue their hunting escapades.

Crustaceans are an important part of the ecosystem along the Gold Coast. The numerous species hunt for smaller marine life and keep the waters clean, as well as provide entertaining wildlife watching along the beaches. They form an important part of one of the Gold Coast’s most popular activities, too – crabbing – and the dishes made with fresh seafood caught by local trawlers are some of the best in the country.

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.