Fish­ers urged to fol­low rules on catch­ing mud crabs

Pilbara News - - News -

The Depart­ment of Fish­eries is urg­ing peo­ple to re­spect the rules when head­ing out to get a feed of mud crabs.

There are two species of mud crab in the Pil­bara — green mud crab and brown mud crab — each with dif­fer­ent size lim­its.

DoF se­nior fish­eries and marine of­fi­cer Matt Go­goll said crabs could only be caught by hand, blunt wire hook, drop net or scoop net. “Brown and green mud crabs ma­ture at dif­fer­ent sizes and that is why each species has its own min­i­mum le­gal size limit,” he said.

“It is im­por­tant that fish­ers can iden­tify dis­tin­guish­ing fea­tures of each species of mud crab.”

Mr Go­goll said a Recre­ational Fish­ing from Boat Li­cence was re­quired whether catch­ing crabs from a pow­ered boat or us­ing one to get to your fish­ing desti­na­tion.

A com­bined species bag limit of 5 crabs per fisher ap­plies.

There is a boat limit of 10 crabs even if there are more than two RFBL hold­ers aboard. To­tally pro­tected crabs in­clude egg-car­ry­ing fe­males, brown mud crabs less than 120mm and green mud crabs less than 150mm.

Mr Go­goll said to­tally pro- tected crabs must be re­turned to the wa­ter im­me­di­ately if caught, be­fore at­tempt­ing to catch an­other crab.

All un­cooked crabs must be kept in whole form, un­less be­ing pre­pared for im­me­di­ate con­sump­tion.

Fish­ers ob­serv­ing il­le­gal fish­ing ac­tiv­ity are en­cour­aged to re­port it to the FISHWATCH hot­line on 1800 815 507.

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