Woman in possession of 60 undersized crabs claimed she wanted a photo for friends

A woman who pleaded guilty to being in possession of 60 undersized crabs told the Mandurah Magistrates Court on Tuesday she was going to send a photo of them to her friends in Thailand, and not take them from the beach.

Sopha Sinthuprom pleaded guilty to being in possession of the crabs about 10.15pm on Monday, December 31, 2018, at the shore at Robert Bay, Nirimba.

Department of Fisheries prosecutor Dean Gregory told the court Sinthuprom was holding a plastic tub containing 62 Blue Manna crabs, with 60 of these being less than the legal size limit of 127 millimetres.

He said the crabs ranged in size from 97 millimetres to 123 millimetres in length.

Magistrate Anne Longden said it was "so important only the right sized crabs are taken out of the water".

During a Department of Fisheries interview, Sinthuprom said she didn't count or measure the crabs at the beach because she was holding a torch and scoop, and was getting bitten by the crabs, but would count them back at her car.

Sinthuprom told the interviewers she knew the 127mm size limit, and the 10 crab bag limit.

Mr Gregory said the crabs were seized and returned to the water.

The maximum penalty for being in the possession of unprotected fish is $5000.

Magistrate Anne Longden said it was "so important only the right sized crabs are taken out of the water".

Sinthuprom was ordered to pay $3000 and $205.30 costs.

In another court matter on Tuesday, Christy Jo Taylor, 43, pleaded guilty to being in possession of 22 undersized crabs.

Mr Gregory told the court Taylor's vehicle was inspected by Department of Fisheries officers, about 9.30pm on January 5, 2019, along Greenfields Road in Nirimba.

Taylor was in the vehicle with her 10-year-old son.

A plastic tub containing 27 Blue Manna crabs was located, with 22 ranging in size from 108 mm to 126.4mm, which were seized and returned to water.

Taylor was fined $1100.

Lastly, Russell Shane Tuck pleaded guilty to netting five mullet in the Creery Wetlands, which is closed to netting.

Mr Gregory said Tuck and a co-accused were spotted checking the net on kayaks, and retrieving mullet, placing them into a container on December 29, 2018.

The net was seized by Department of Fisheries officers and Tuck was fined $200, with $100 costs.