Stick to crabbing rules


Fisheries officers Lisa Bennett and Jay Tonkin are urging fishers to do the right thing over the |Australia Day long weekend. Picture: Matt Jelonek         www.communitypix.com.au   d448696
Fisheries officers Lisa Bennett and Jay Tonkin are urging fishers to do the right thing over the |Australia Day long weekend. Picture: Matt Jelonek         www.communitypix.com.au d448696

Fishers should stick to the rules, ensuring they don’t take undersize crabs or more than the daily bag limit.

South Metropolitan Region compliance manager Ryan Parker said many recreational fishers were expected to visit the Peel Harvey Estuary over the long weekend.

“They can have a good time if they abide by the rules,” he said.

“The crab season is more advanced now and more of the blue swimmers have reached legal size, but fishers need to make sure they measure them properly to be sure.”

Fisheries and marine officers patrolling the estuary still come across people who haven’t measured the crabs they have caught.

“In those situations, they quite often find undersize crabs among the crabs that have been collected, with many people incurring fines,” Mr Parker said.

“Any blue swimmer crab caught that is less than 127mm carapace width needs to be returned to the water promptly.

“The legal limit for anyone taking crabs in a single day is 10.”

Mr Parker said fines would be issued for taking undersize or too many crabs.

Penalties can include prosecution and potential court fines of up to $5000 and a mandatory penalty of $40 per crab.

“Fishers must ensure they have a gauge when they commence fishing and ensure they use it to make sure crabs taken are of adequate size,” he said.

The department’s Crabbing for Blue Swimmer Crabs guide is available from the Department of Fisheries website at www.fish.wa.gov.au, departmental offices and information outlets.