Time to clamp down on illegal crabbers

A lot to get crabby about: Local conservationist Craig Lester says dozens of undersized crabs are being caught and discarded.
A lot to get crabby about: Local conservationist Craig Lester says dozens of undersized crabs are being caught and discarded.

LOCAL conservationist Craig Lester is angry at the amount of illegal crabbing that has been happening on a daily basis in the first few weeks of the crabbing season.

He has seen people coming in with bathtubs half-full of undersized crabs.

One crabber had more than 50 undersized crabs and others were catching tiny crabs by hand and keeping them. Another ran around spearing crabs with a gidgee and flicking them off into the distance “like he was playing lacrosse.”’

Mr Lester has twice found crabs dumped at Coodanup. One lot of 37, of which 34 were undersized, were in a plastic container on a dirt track at Nairn Reserve.

Last week he found 54 crabs dumped. Nearly all were undersized and many were less than 90 millimetres.

Mr Lester said more than 20 Fisheries officers were needed to cover the massive estuary system, rivers, oceans and dams.

“Its about time serious action was taken before there is nothing left, which at this rate will not be very long,’’ he said.