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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
​​   The allegedly concealed catch
Friday 24 December 2021

Notable increase in fisheries offences at Greenough River

Recent weeks have seen an unusual spike in fishing offences at Greenough River near Cape Burney, prompting Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) compliance officers to urge fishers to stick to the rules or risk significant penalties.

More than 20 offences in the last two weeks alone related to fishers either taking undersize blue swimmer crabs, or breaching bag or boat limits that apply for blueys.

Last Saturday DPIRD compliance officers came across a 57-year-old man from suburban Geraldton, who produced a bucket of crabs and fish for inspection, but not the allegedly hidden catch found on board the fisher’s vessel, for which he’s now facing prosecution.

A 56-year-old Greenough man is also facing prosecution following an inspection on his vessel by DPIRD officers in early December. It will be alleged that he was in possession of 35 blue swimmer crabs and there was only one licensed fisher on board.
 
  A DPIRD compliance officers inspecting catch at Greenough River

The daily bag limit applying to the Greenough River is 10 crabs per day, per person, and if you use a powered boat to fish for crabs or to reach your fishing location, at least one person on board needs a Recreational Fishing from Boat Licence (an RFBL).

Fishers are allowed a boat possession limit of 20 crabs per boat when there are two or more people on board, or 4 or more people on board in the Swan and Canning Rivers, where the daily bag limit is 5 crabs per person. In Geographe Bay, you can have a maximum of 10 female crabs on board as part of your boat possession limit of 20 crabs.   

To be legal catch, the minimum size limit for blue swimmer crabs is 127mm, measured from the tips of the spikes on the widest part of the shell.
 
DPIRD’s Director Regional Compliance for the Midwest and Gascoyne, Mick Kelly said the illegal fishing detected in the Greenough River was concerning.

“As well as these two prosecutions we’ll be pursuing, there’s been an unusually high number of infringement notices issued in recent weeks,” Mr Kelly said.

“DPIRD compliance officers will be working throughout the festive season to ensure fishers are doing the right thing, so we urge fishers to know the rules wherever they fish and I ask anyone who suspected illegal fishing activity to report what they’ve seen to FishWatch 1800 815.507”. 

Last modified: 24/12/2021 9:16 AM

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