New measures to protect blue swimmer crabs

PIC: File

Changes to strengthen the sustainability of blue swimmer crabs in Perth and the South-West have been announced.

A recent review of the blue swimmer crab resource in Western Australia found more protections were needed for the species to ensure their long-term survival.

The State Government received a proposal from peak fishing bodies, and after considering this along with public feedback, decided to implement new measures. 

The measures include:

  • A new seasonal crabbing closure will apply to recreational and commercial fishers and charter operators from September 1 until November 30 each year, from the Swan and Canning rivers south to Minninup Beach (around 15 kilometres south of Bunbury).
  • A voluntary buyback for commercial licences from oceanic crab fisheries in the Cockburn and Warnbro Sounds managed crab fisheries and the Mandurah to Bunbury Developmental Crab Fishery, leading to their permanent closure to commercial crab fishing.
  • Geographe Bay will remain open to recreational blue swimmer crab fishing all year, however, recreational fishers will now only be allowed to take a maximum of five females in their bag limit of 10 crabs.
  • A new bag limit of five blue swimmer crabs will apply to recreational fishers in the Swan and Canning rivers to support a trophy crab fishery on Perth's doorstep with larger crabs in the system.

Mandurah MLA David Templeman said these will ensure the availability of crab stocks to fishers, consumers and future generations. 

"Maintaining a healthy, sustainable crab fishery in the Peel waterways is very important," he said. 

The current boat limit of 20 blue swimmer crabs in the region will remain unchanged.

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