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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries

Blue swimmer crab commercial fishing

In Western Australia, most of the annual blue swimmer crab commercial catch usually comes from Cockburn Sound, the Peel-Harvey Estuary and Shark Bay.

Crabs are caught commercially using a variety of fishing gear. Traditionally set (gill) nets or drop nets were used, however, purpose-designed crab traps are now used in most commercial fisheries. Crabs are also retained by the State’s trawl fisheries.

Commercial blue swimmer crab fisheries in the West Coast Bioregion are:

  • Cockburn Sound Crab Managed Fishery
  • Warnbro Sound Crab Managed Fishery
  • Area I (Swan and Canning rivers) and Area II (the Peel-Harvey Estuary) of the West Coast Estuarine Managed Fishery
  • Area I (Comet Bay) and Area II (Mandurah to Bunbury) of Mandurah to Bunbury Developing Crab Fishery.

At the start of the 2013/14 season, concerns about the crab stock in Cockburn Sound led to on-board monitoring surveys and the collection of catch and effort information. An extra review of the data led to early closure of the fishery. Commercial crab fishers voluntarily stopped fishing in Cockburn Sound in April 2014.

Blue swimmer crab commercial catch 2013/14

Area or bioregion
Commercial catch​
 Commercial value
​North Coast Bioregion 46 tonnes​ $1 million 
​Shark Bay ​371 tonnes ​$2 million
West Coast Bioregion​
163 tonnes ​
$1 million ​

Last modified: 4/02/2016 3:38 PM

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