Crab fishing restrictions commence on back of ‘top season’

Good season: Mandurah recreational fisherman Damien Bell earlier this year with two crabs he caught in Mandurah waters. Photo: Carla Hildebrandt.
Good season: Mandurah recreational fisherman Damien Bell earlier this year with two crabs he caught in Mandurah waters. Photo: Carla Hildebrandt.

Blue swimmer crab fishing restrictions have come into play for two months, on the back of a “top season”. 

Commerical fisherman Damien Bell said the season was one of the best he had experienced in 15 years. 

“It was definitely in the top three,” he said. 

“Both recreational and commercial got a good feed of crabs thanks to right climatic conditions, which allowed the crabs to flourish.

“We hope that the dredging programs in the Yunderup and Wannanup channels that have occurred over the last two months do not adversely affect next season.”

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Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) director Nathan Harrison said the department had received positive feedback on the 2017/18 season from both recreational and commercial fisherman. 

“With a high abundance of crabs last summer both recreational and commercial fishers were able to enjoy one of the best seasons in recent years,” he said.

Mr Harrison said the closed season for blue swimmer crab fishing in the Peel region runs from September 1 to October 31, for both recreational and commercial fisherman. This was to protect pre-spawning female crabs. 

“Fishers can recommence fishing on November 1, however, even in November many of the crabs in the estuary system are undersize,” he said. 

“People need to be aware of the minimum legal size limit of 127 millimeters measured across the carapace.

“Any undersize crabs caught must be immediately returned to the water.”

For more information visit the DPIRD website.