Posted: November 11

Crab Trawlers Heading Out – Kyotango Crab Season Part 1

Crab season is a big deal in Kyotango. It’s the main draw for domestic tourism during the cold winter months. And the evening of November 5th marked its start as the trawlers set out into the night.

The Trawlers Set Sail

There was a large crowd at Taiza’s fishing harbour, watching as the ships set out. A surprising number of young people were there too. It’s become a tradition to wish the fishermen to be safe and to bring back a big catch.

Five ships set out about 9:00 at night so they can be in position at midnight, when the fishing can officially begin. At midnight they will drop their nets and begin trawling.

Crab Fishing Grounds

The crab fishing grounds are very close to the harbour. It only takes about 2 or 3 hours so the fishermen are able to make the trip in one day, rather than spending multiple days at sea. Owing to the quick return the fishing boats are quite small.

The crabs live off the edge of a continental shelf where the seabed drops to about 230m – 300m. They eat a little further off where it drops to depths deeper than 300m. The high oxygen content, calm sea, and year round cold helps fill the crabs muddy feeding ground with lots of food.

The fishermen thoroughly inspect the crab while they are on the boat. They are examined for size, weight, colour, injuries, shape. All in there are about 50 points they are judged on.

All this helps to ensure quality and integrity of the “Taiza Crab” brand. After inspection the fishermen fit the crab with an arm band identifying it as a Taiza Crab and the ship that caught it.

Check out part 2 of Kyotango Crab Season, where we talk about the crab auction and restaurants and vendors where you can buy them here:

Or skip to part 3 of Kyotango’s famous Taiza Crab. Where we talk about different ways of cooking them: