DPIRD seeks in­put on crab fish­eries

Harvey-Waroona Reporter - - NEWS - Michael Philipps

The Depart­ment of Pri­mary In­dus­tries and Re­gional De­vel­op­ment is seek­ing feed­back on how to man­age the pop­u­la­tion of the blue swim­mer crab in the South West.

South West Biore­gions man­ager Tim Ni­cholas said the op­tions be­ing con­sid­ered in its re­view were pre­sented in a man­age­ment pa­per, with the pros and cons out­lined for each one.

“I urge stake­hold­ers and in­ter­ested com­mu­nity mem­bers to read through the dis­cus­sion pa­per to get a full un­der­stand­ing of the chal­lenges fac­ing these crab fish­eries and be mind­ful of the need to strengthen the fu­ture of the blue swim­mer crab in WA’s South West,” he said.

“While recre­ational crab fish­ing is an in­trin­sic part of the life­style for many South West com­mu­ni­ties, so is be­ing able to buy lo­cal, com­mer­cially caught crabs for seafood shop­pers.

“Any new man­age­ment ar­range­ments must strike the right bal­ance and con­sider the im­pacts of both com­mer­cial and recre­ational fish­ing — no sec­tor can be man­aged in iso­la­tion.

“The dis­cus­sion pa­per iden­ti­fies broad-scale sea­sonal clo­sures as the most bal­anced op­tion, par­tic­u­larly for mated pre-spawn fe­male crabs that are lit­er­ally car­ry­ing the fu­ture of the fish­ery.

“Cur­rently, these are highly vul­ner­a­ble to cap­ture in late au­tumn, win­ter and spring.”

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