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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Fisher using a gauge to measure crab carapace
Crabs must be measured across the widest part of the shell, from tip to tip of the carapace spikes, using an accurate measuring gauge.
Thursday 22 February 2018

Crabs require quick release

With crabbing in the Peel-Harvey Estuary well underway, recreational fishers need to carefully measure and immediately release any undersize blue swimmer crabs  they catch before attempting to catch another, or pulling their next drop net.

Even though this summer has seen good numbers of legal sized crabs in the Peel-Harvey Estuary, there are still plenty that are undersize, so ensure you have a crab gauge with you to accurately measure each crab as soon as you catch them. Crab gauges are available from tackle shops.

Any blue swimmer crab you catch that is less than 127 mm carapace width, as well as ‘berried’ (egg-carrying) females, need to be immediately and carefully returned to the water, to give them the best chance of survival.

When fishing from a boat, if only one person on board holds a Recreational Fishing from Boat Licence  (RFBL), there can only be a maximum of 10 blue swimmer crabs on board. If two or more people hold an RFBL, there can only be a maximum of 20 crabs on board. There is a limit of 10 drop nets per boat.

Following these rules will help ensure there will be plenty of crabs for the future in this very popular fishery.

For more information see our recreational fishing rules. You can also download our multilingual Crabbing for blue swimmer crabs in the West Coast Region.

Last modified: 22/02/2018 5:59 PM

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