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New measures to protect blue swimmer crabs

New measures to protect blue swimmer crabs

Western Australia’s popular blue swimmer crab stock will be given additional protection through several new measures being introduced to the south west later this year.

Changes being implemented are:

  • a seasonal crab closure will be brought in for recreational and commercial fishers between 1 September and 30 November in all waters from the Swan and Canning Rivers to Minninup Beach, which is about 15km south of Bunbury
  • a new bag limit of five crabs per fisher will be introduced for the Swan and Canning Rivers
  • Geographe Bay will remain open to recreational blue swimmer crab fishing all year, however a maximum of five female crabs will be allowed as part of the 10 crab bag limit per fisher
  • the State Government will start the process to buy back commercial licences from oceanic crab fisheries (Cockburn Sound, Warnbro Sound and the Mandurah to Bunbury Developmental Fishery) followed by closure to commercial fishing in these areas.

These management measures will help protect breeding stock across the blue swimmer crab resource in the South West, particular when they are mated and vulnerable to capture. This will improve the resilience and ensure ongoing performance of our highly valued crab resource into the future.

The measures were agreed to by the peak sector bodies Recfishwest and the Western Australian Fisheries Industry Council, as well as the Southern Seafood Producers Association. By working together these bodies have shown real leadership and long-term vision by agreeing on a set of resource level changes that will benefit the WA community into the future.

Always make sure you check the fishing rules page before heading out fishing to make sure you know the rules for the species you’re catching in the area where you’re fishing.

Read the media release from Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly.

Source: Dept of Primary Industries and Regional Development 21/08/2019

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