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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Saturday 17 March 2018

An eye in the sky adds value to Mandurah crabbing survey

  • ​Drone technology deployed to help better estimate recreational crabbing activity
  • Mandurah’s crab fishery is the world’s first MSC certified commercial and recreational fishery
  • Recreational fishing supports thousands of WA jobs and the economy
  • Mandurah Crab Fest celebrates 20 years this weekend

For the first time in Western Australia, drone technology will be rolled out to monitor how recreational fishers go about getting their catch.

Fisheries and Innovation and ICT Minister Dave Kelly today launched the first drone being used in a 12-month survey run by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development to monitor the recreational catch of the Mandurah crab fishery.

In June 2016, professional and recreational fishers who share the blue swimmer crab resource from the estuary, joined forces to become the world’s first commercial and recreational fishery to ever be certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).

This survey will provide a comprehensive estimate of the distribution and effort of recreational fishers that go crabbing in the estuary, a condition of the MSC certification.

The range of cameras that will be used in the survey will provide 24-7 data on people wading within the field of view, and provide invaluable information on how fishers use these sites during the day and night.

Comments attributed to Fisheries and Innovation and ICT Minister Dave Kelly:

“The McGowan Government is committed to ensuring the Mandurah crab fishery maintains its world-first status by continuing to improve how assessments of the fishery are done.

“For the next 12 months, departmental staff will be surveying shore-based recreational fishers during the day and night using a range of cameras, including a drone.

“By deploying innovative tools such as drones, departmental staff will be able to more easily assess the proportion of activity that occurs across more than 130 square kilometres of the Peel-Harvey Estuary. 

“WA has been a world-leader in sustainable fisheries for 20 years and we have achieved this through the great work undertaken by our Fisheries scientists and researchers.”

Minister's office - 6552 6100

Last modified: 19/03/2018 9:52 AM

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