Fisheries out in force at Peel crabbing hotspots this long weekend

Friday, 1 March 2024 09:32

By Monique Welhan

An illegal haul of crabs seized on the Swan River. PIC: DPIRD

Fisheries officers will be out in force at crabbing hotspots around Mandurah this long weekend.

A new intake of fisheries officers late last year has seen more authorities on the water and boots on the ground in Perth and Peel areas to boost fisheries compliance and education. 

DPIRD Director Regional Compliance Metro Todd A’Vard said the blue swimmer crab fishery was identified as a high compliance risk and significant resources had been allocated to ensure fishers operated within the rules. 

“Across the Perth metropolitan area, we have a pool of 34 officers we can draw on to assist with Operation Lightwald and other compliance operations,” Mr A’Vard said.    

“Since Operation Lightwald began in December, officers have inspected more than 3600 fishers which included 370 boats connected with crabbing activity.  

“Officers have issued 103 infringement fines and 124 warning notices for offences in the Peel Harvey region. A further 18 infringement fines and 20 formal warnings have been issued for the Swan and Canning Rivers, where two fishers will be facing prosecution. 

“We have undertaken both land and boat-based patrols with high profile mobile patrols as well as covert patrols focused on times of peak fishing activity.” 

A legal size blue swimmer crab must have a carapace width of at least 127mm.

In Peel Harvey waters, the daily bag limit is 10 crabs per person, and if there is two or more people onboard a boat, the boat limit is 20. 

If it is a powered boat, two or more people must each hold a valid Recreational Fishing from Boat Licence (RFBL).

If there is only one person holding an RFBL on board a powered boat, only the daily bag limit of the person who has the licence applies. 

Anyone who sees or suspects illegal crab fishing activity is urged to report it to DPIRD’s 24/7 FishWatch service on 1800 815 507 or online at Report • Crime Stoppers Western Australia - click on the special FishWatch link for your report.

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