Bay opens to spring crab catch fishery
Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly has acknowledged the unique spring season of blue swimmer crabs in Geographe Bay as part of new crab sustainability measures.
Recreational fishers in Geographe Bay will be allowed to catch a maximum of five female blue swimmer crabs, with a bag limit of 10 crabs per person and 20 per boat.
The management plan bans recreation crabbing in spring for all other areas from the South West to Perth.
Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly announced the amended blue swimmer crab management plan on Wednesday after a public consultation period which included heavy lobbying by local fishers.
“To ensure the long-term sustainability of the fishery, we are making management changes based on the latest research and a joint proposal by the peak fishing bodies to safeguard this important resource,” he said.
“For thousands of Western Australians enjoying a feed of crabs is a highly valued activity, part of WA’s summer lifestyle and an experience worth protecting.”
Siesta Park Holiday Park director Greg Tickle and Vasse MLA Libby Mettam campaigned for a sustainable crab management program for the region, rather than being part of the blanket ban across WA.
Mr Tickle said it was a good result for the community.
“Hopefully we’ll see the crabs re-emerge in big numbers in the western side of the bay,” he said.
“It’s a handy tool from a research perspective because we are the end of the run for migratory crabs, so we will see if this plan is working.
“I’d like to thank Dave Kelly for listening to us and Andrew Rowland at Recfishwest for doing a lot of work behind the scenes to get this result.”
Vasse MLA Libby Mettam said a blanket ban would have affected the tourism experience in the region.
“This is fantastic news in response to a government proposal which would have had a serious impact on one of our communities’ most loved recreational activities,” she said.
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