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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Tuesday 29 October 2019

Don’t get crabby – extended closure will mean better crabs

​Crabbers are reminded the new three month closed season for blue swimmer crab fishing in Perth and the South West continues until 30 November.

This means the Peel-Harvey Estuary, which was previously only closed to blue swimmer crab fishing for two months (September and October), now remains closed to crab fishing throughout November.

Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) fisheries management officer Griffin Grounds said the new closure was one of several measures implemented earlier this year to protect blue swimmer crab breeding stock in the South West.

“Blue swimmer crabs are extremely popular in WA and our research showed that we needed to better protect breeding stock at the resource level in order to safeguard sustainability,” Mr Grounds said.

“We introduced a closed season from 1 September to 30 November from the Swan River through to Rich Road at Minninup Beach, about 15km south of Bunbury.

“This is an important time in their breeding cycle, so the closed season will help drive better recruitment, protect the smaller crabs, and means when the season re-opens in December there will be bigger, better crabs available for people to enjoy.”

Other measures announced earlier this year to protect blue swimmer crab breeding stock included changes to bag limits in the Swan and Canning rivers, and Geographe Bay from 1 December 2019.

“A new bag limit of five crabs will apply in the Swan and Canning rivers from 1 December. In Geographe Bay there will be a limit of five female crabs per fisher as part of the 10 crab bag limit in that area,” Mr Grounds said. 

“When the Peel-Harvey Estuary re-opens to crabbing on 1 December, the bag limit will remain at 10 crabs per person per day.”

To check the recreational fishing rules you can download recreational fishing guides from, check the online rules website –, or download the Recfishwest app.​

Media contacts:
Jodie Thomson/Megan Broad, media liaison +61 (0)8 9368 3937

Last modified: 5/11/2019 9:50 AM

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