Illegal fishing traps a concern for department
Illegal use of traps is an increasing issue in the Kimberley and Pilbara regions, the Department of Fisheries says.
Fisheries community education officer Dylan Pross said it was apparent the department needed to continue raising awareness about why such traps were illegal.
“If lost, traps can continue to ghost fish — catching fish long after they have been lost, whereas drop nets, the legal alternative, need to be actively fished and physically pulled in order to get your catch,” he said.
“The department works closely with retailers and wholesalers who can assist with education at the point of sale and pass on information that these traps can’t be used in any WA waters except Lake Kununurra for redclaw.”
Mr Pross said drop nets were legal, but must be no wider than 1.5m in diameter and a maximum of 10 drop nets per person or 10 drop nets per boat could be used.
Other alternatives for catching mud crabs include by hand, scoop nets or using a blunt wire hook that is not capable of piercing the shell.
Fishers observing illegal fishing activity can report it by phoning 1800 815 507.