Mandurah crab fishing closure monitored

WA Fisheries and Marine Officers have noticed a concerning upward trend in crab fishing offences in the Peel-Harvey region during the past year.

South Metro Acting Compliance Manager Darren Schofield said the officers apprehended
significant numbers of people breaching the bag limit rule and taking undersize crabs.

“Having detected 985 offences during the 2013/14 financial year and more offences since July, the Fisheries officers will now be targeting breaches of the important annual closure that helps protect breeding stocks and allows the female crabs to spawn,” Schofield said.

“The Fisheries officers will remain vigilant throughout the crab fishing closure, which begins next Monday (1 September) and runs for two months up to and including 31 October, to make sure no crabs are fished.

“The closure is needed in the fishery at this time of the year to allow juvenile crabs to grow and moult and reach a size at which they can be legally fished.

“The minimum size for blue swimmer crabs is 127 millimetres (carapace width) and we urge fishers to measure their catch carefully. Undersize crabs are categorized as totally protected fish and offenders will be issued with an infringement or prosecuted.

“For example, taking undersize crabs could mean a fine through infringement of up to $1,000 or up to $5,000 in court, where a mandatory additional penalty (worth $40 per crab) would also apply. No crab fishing at all is allowed during the seasonal closure.”

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Schofield said new signs (see above) would be erected at key locations around the Peel-Harvey Estuary to help with education, but the onus was always on the fisher to know the rules that apply whenever and wherever they might choose to go fishing in WA.

Fishing rules are available in the Recreational fishing guide 2014. Guides are available online, via, or from departmental offices, or Information Outlets.

Anyone who has information on illegal fishing activities is asked to call FISHWATCH on 1800 815 507.

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