Crab Fest 2018: Boat fishing survey shows crabs still WA’s most popular species

With Crab Fest quickly approaching, it’s no secret that the shellfish snack is popular among those living in Mandurah.

But a boat-fishing survey carried out by Fisheries has highlighted the entire state’s love for a feed of crabs.

The latest snapshot shows an estimated 680,000 blue swimmer crabs were fished in 12 months, making it the most caught species across Western Australia.

Around 70 per cent of those crabs caught were released by fishers for a range of reasons, including minimum size limits.

School whiting was the most captured finfish with an estimated 230,000 reeled in by recreational fishers, followed by Australian herring, pink snapper and dhufish.

The survey is the third of its kind, and has been carried out every two years to compare catches over time.

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Fisheries minister Dave Kelly applauded recreational fishers for taking part in the survey.

“Good science is vital for effectively managing our state’s fisheries to ensure there is fish for the future, and WA maintains its reputation for having some of the best fisheries in the world.

“I am pleased to see that the majority of recreational fishers take their stewardship role seriously, and keep sustainability and the future enjoyment of WA fishing foremost in their minds.

“This innovative survey used logbooks, boat ramp surveys and remote cameras to generate the catch estimates for the state, so that we know what’s being caught and where.

“I’d like to thank the almost 6,000 Western Australian fishers who took part in this survey, which is the most comprehensive of its kind in Australia.” 

Visit fish.wa.gov.au for more information.