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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Saturday 14 March 2015

Crabs mark commitment to sustainable fisheries

  • Recreational and commercial sectors work together on Mandurah crab stocks
  • Independent third party certification provides vital edge in modern fisheries
  • $14.5m Government investment to reinforce that WA fish stocks are sustainable

The blue swimmer crab fishery in Western Australia’s Peel-Harvey inlet is seeking a gold standard for sustainable fisheries.
Fisheries Minister Ken Baston said this weekend’s Crab Fest was the ideal occasion to announce the world-first collaboration where both the recreational and commercial components of a fishery jointly undergo independent third party sustainability certification.
“WA’s blue swimmer crab is one of the State’s most highly sought-after seafoods and one of the best locations to catch them is Mandurah,” Mr Baston said.
“The commercial and recreational sectors that share the Peel-Harvey blue swimmer crab fishery are joining forces to gain Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification, the global gold standard for sustainable fisheries.”
The Minister said the State Government’s $14.5 million certification fund had led to almost all of WA’s commercial fisheries being pre-assessed under the MSC standard. The Shark Bay and Exmouth Gulf Prawn fisheries have also entered the full assessment process.
Mandurah’s commercial fishers have been collaborating with Recfishwest to take part in the rigorous and independent scientific evaluation of the local crab fishery, which will take 12 to 18 months to complete.
“WA made history in 2000, when our western rock lobster fishery became the first in the world to gain such certification.  Fifteen years later, the State continues to lead the way by being the first to move to have both a commercial and recreational fishery assessed together,” Mr Baston said.
The Minister said the Mandurah Licensed Fishermen’s Association was also seeking accreditation for the estuary’s sea mullet.
“The Mandurah community love their blue swimmer crabs and the recreational fishing enjoyment it provides.  People who don’t fish themselves love the prospect of buying local crabs and fresh fish from seafood suppliers,” he said.
“The community is placing an increasing importance on purchasing sustainable seafood and this is reflected by moves by some major supermarket chains to require third party certification of all seafood products they stock.” 

Fact File

  • For more information, visit
  • Public consultation is one of the features of the full assessment process

Minister’s office - 6552 5400

Last modified: 14/03/2015 11:24 AM

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