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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Wednesday 25 January 2017

Get the measure of your crabs

Our Fisheries and Marine Officers are urging recreational fishers in the Peel-Harvey Estuary to measure their crabs accurately.

It would appear there are still large numbers of undersize crabs in the estuary system, probably due to the colder and longer than average winter slowing down the crabs’ shell moulting cycle.

Most fishers are doing the right thing and using gauges to measure their catches and returning any undersize crabs they catch immediately.
However, our officers have found a number of fishers with crabs in their possession that are two to three millimetres under the 127 mm minimum size limit as a result of failing to measure their catch properly.
The size limit allows crabs to reach maturity to complete their breeding cycle helping ensure there will be plenty of crabs for the future.
It is vital to measure your crabs accurately as soon as you catch them and return any undersize or ‘berried’ (egg-carrying) crabs immediately and carefully to the water – so make sure you measure each crab before you catch your next one.

To do this, take hold of the crab at the base joint of one of its swimmer paddle legs between your thumb and forefinger.

Then measure the crab across the widest part of the shell from tip to tip of the carapace spikes as in the picture below. As well as being the most accurate, this method also minimises the risk of getting pinched by the crab.

We also urge fishers to ensure all crabbing equipment meets the legal requirements.

For more information see our recreational fishing rules.

You can also download our multilingual Crabbing for blue swimmer crabs in the West Coast Bioregion brochure or pick up a copy from our offices and participating information outlets.

Make sure you measure your crabs accurately.

Last modified: 25/01/2017 8:41 AM

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