View Full Version : Crabbers  Please Read

12-01-2005, 05:01 PM
Your feedback or opinions on the following Crab Regulations for Rec/Fishos.
The following are coming up for discussion. So some positive feedback is required.
1. Crab Apparatus.
At present there is no regulation governing dimensions of crab pots or entrances.
Most factory built pots range in size from 100cm to 80cm in diameter with heights varying from 40cm to 30cm, and are mainly made with trawl mesh.
The entrances also vary on different size pots.
As for homemade ones who knows on dimensions and entrances being used.
Some stats have been thrown up also on by-catch, especially turtles sticking their heads in and being caught, this seems to be coming from lost or adrift pots.
A 15cm legal crab needs only around 16cm x11cm entrances to get through. (This is the minimum area needed).

Ques 1 - Should a legal allround dimension size be introduced on Mud Crab Apparatus.

1a - If so what dimensions.
1b - Should a fixed entrance size be introduced.
1c - If so what size.

Ques 2. Talk has also been aired about a reduction in bag limits for Rec/Fisho's.
What would you opinions be if numbers were reduced to say 5, and if this was enforced, and to make up some of the loss, the taking of 1 or 2 Jennies to make up the bag limit.
Im not saying this will happen, but we need some alternatives, or we fight to keep it at 10.
Some relevant info.
Mud Crabs live 3-4 years and can reach 24cm.
They usually moult between Sept-Jan.
Sexual maturity differs
In the tropics (18mth or around the 9-10cm)
While in the more temperate areas (2-3years or around 13-14cm).

2. - Would a reduction to say 5 be accepted.
2a - If not what ??.
2b - Your thoughts on allowing 1 or 2 jennies, if a reduction was made.
2c - If jennies allowed what size 20-22cm ??.
2d - A closure on jennies during the moulting months (sept-jan).

Ques 3. At present also there is no limit on the number of Blue Swimmers allowed. (11.5cm)
3. - A limit of 20 or 15 be introduced ???.
3a - A limit per boat (2 P.o.b) 30-25-20 ???.

Ques 4. Would a marking of some discription on both Mud or Blue Swimmers, help deter the black marketing by some Rec's to Seafood Outlets. Yes/No.
Now before we get off our horses, the above are only up for discussion, so some possitive feedback would go along way.
For those that dont no there are usually 13 on the Committee, Myself, Bill Corten and Trevor Fuller (Townsville) are the Rec's,with the same number of Pro's, the rest are made up from Fisheries Dept/Grmpa/Boating @ Fisheries Patrol/Commerical Rep/Fisheries Research Dept (Science) and often a E.P.A. member, so these are who we have to argue or try and resolve with.
Either post your comments hear or pm me if you dont want to stick your neck out ;D and cop the flack, that these issues are sure to generate.

12-01-2005, 07:04 PM
Hi Webby......with sandies...witches hats are still o.k.?

Q1.........maybe 1200mm max.
1b.......no need

Q2.....10 (8 bucks + 2 jennies)

Q3......20/per person.....if stocks are actually "threatened"
3a.....per person, not boat.

Q4.....NO.......increase fines for seller ,and 10times for buyer

p.s. Jennies to be "Rec only" ;D not commercial >:( or NSW bound :-[

13-01-2005, 04:54 AM

Our plan is scheduled before yours so back off buddy ;D ;D ;D

Just a bit of info for you. I know first hand of some people laying pots alsong reef lines offshore and catching reef fish up to 5kg in size. You might know them to ;D

I think the entrance size should be regulated - the pots are designed to catch crabs so their must be some info out there about what is the maximum required . The MAC and or Govt may shy away from the public backlash though about the pots already in the public domain.

I don't have all the info on this so it's hard to make an informed decision but he's a seat of the pants job.

1) no different size pots can work for different people with different size boats. I'd hate to be luggint those big pro suckers around in a little tinny.
1b) yes
1c) leave it up to the experts to determine

2) Not sure - very rarely got 5 but that's because I'm a shit crabber.
2b) definitely - a scientist once told me of the wasted resource of millions of crabs dieing on the bottom each year (ie jennies) Will jennies be only open to recs or pros as well?
2c) pretty big - maybe 18-20
2d) yes

3) bag limit yes

4) I think a marking is a good idea - it's not like you can fillet a crab to get around it either.


13-01-2005, 06:20 AM
Gday Webby,
my interest in this topic is purely in relation to mud crabs, i crab the CQ area on a regular basis but have no interest in blue swimmer crabs.

Q1 abc - i dont really know if the size of the pot is relevent, but the entrence size i think should be looked at to prevent by-catch as mentioned in your post. As for what size, i couldnt say as long as its still big enough to let that trophy buck come in and prevent other marine life from getting in.

Q2 - 5 bucks would be acceptable
Q2b - 1 or 2 jennies would be great but they would have to be in addition to the 5 bucks
Q2c - jennies from 18cm
Q2d - closure on jennies would be acceptable

Q3 - dont care for blue swimmer crabs

Q4 - markings would not concern me

13-01-2005, 09:26 AM
gday webby, regarding Q3 about bag limits for blues i think this is a must,i know of to many people who go out on a weekend and will catch between 100-200 blues and then will go out again the following weekend and do it again.i know alot get sold on the sly,but some blokes are frezzing,giving and throwing them out.i am sure your well aware of shit like this happing but a bag limit must be bought in.i think 15pp for blues and i think your suggestion of 5 muddies pp is also what we need.at the end of the day we go crabbing to catch a feed and have some fun while were at it,not to boast to your mates that you caught more crabs than you can poke a stick at.

13-01-2005, 09:28 AM
hi webby,
who is sorting the crabs, the crab mac or the inshore fin fish mac ??? ??? ??? Both mac's might have a different view on that one.

Ques 1 abc- whatever size reduces bycatch. Which apparatus is responsible for most bycatch- dillies or pots

Ques 2- Bag lilmit of 5 would be acceptible.
Don't agree with the taking of jennies. Isn't there research to demonstrate that big jennies produce more eggs, directly proportionate to their size.
Would be interesting to see what the NT thinks of the taking of jenies. Have only heard antedotal evidence that the crab population is on the decline due to the taking of jennies. Would be nice to see some validated research on this.

Ques 3. I will take a bet that after the fin fish guy's are done we will have a new bag limit on blue swimmer crabs

Ques4. More pro active enforcement of the regs. ie more fisheries officers, quicker response times to 1800 calls. Harsher penalties for business buying on the black market.
Dunno how you would mark a crab. Maybe all commercial crabs should carry a tag of some discription.

I also think the age of people allowed to use post should be lowered a couple of years. Should still require an adult on board.


13-01-2005, 09:34 AM

When I said our plan is scheduled before yours - what I meant is that our management plan for finfish is the next plan to be finalised and put before Govt.

Ours does not deal with crabs whatsoever - that's why there's a crab MAC funnily enough.

The comment was merely a sideways shot at the bureaucratic system in which all the MAC lives - which is trying to do so much with so little.


13-01-2005, 09:46 AM
Fair-enough Bugman 8) ,based on spawning age(i trust/hope :-/ )
rather than "who can't fillet properly"

13-01-2005, 10:05 AM
hi brett,
the little bit of info i have been able to gleen in my travels is that your mac will be putting in a submission about blue swimmer crabs and bag limits. i may well have been fed BS which wouldn't suprise me or someond dosent know what they are talking about.
hope there are ballanced outcomes based on valid research and not some public servant with a point to prove

13-01-2005, 10:54 AM
Brian- i believe in a bag limit on sand crabs to help cut the black trade probably 10-15 per person. As for pot size the large pro pots may help in the number of crabs they can catch, but any decrease in size of these pots would increase the number of dead and damaged crabs. To small a pot and they fight and kill one another, i refer to the large numbers sometimes caught offshore.As for mud crabs im happy with current laws, i catch as many muddies now as i did as a kid, i cant see any need for change.As far as crab pot entrance sizes and the like thats a difficult one? is there really that much bycatch, im usually delighted to catch the odd cod or bream but i hardly think a pot is going to effect there numbers...foxy

13-01-2005, 11:03 AM
1.Limit dimensions to reduce bycatch only

2. Yes, 5 bucks would be acceptable. Need research on viability of taking jennies. Maybe at 20cm

3. Sandies limited to 15 pp and brought up in size. 11.5cn is pretty fiddly to get the meat out off. Lower age limit with boat limit at say 15,15,10,10,5,5.


13-01-2005, 03:13 PM
To answer all your questions before someone else, repeats them.
These regulations will only effect Rec's not Pro's.
As for Brett Bumbling Bunch, they have no say on Crab regulations.
Inverted dillies and the age limit of 15 yrs was discarded with at our last meeting, but as of yet have not come into force.
As for markings to help stop black marketing, that dreaded word Tipping for Rec's has popped its ugly head.
The by catch, well once you mention the word Turtle, every Greenie and Epa person immediately jumps up and down and starts talking about bans.
As for Formosa , yes mate, this is the reason, blue swimmers need a bag limit, to stop those catching more then they could eat in a year.
Dave those pro pots are great, just scored some of a pro crabber.

13-01-2005, 04:13 PM

I think on the mud crab side of things, I agree with foxy I catch just as many now as many moons ago. So in my opinion if its not broken donít fix it.

Just on the jenny thing if it is changed it could be open for abuse

As for sandies 15 would be more than heaps. If Jennies were included two to three would be adequate in most cases. But with the overall carcass size increase. As currently I think they are very fiddly.

13-01-2005, 05:32 PM
Hi Webby ,
Not being a crabber myself , I asked a couple of my mates that do for comment .
So far I have had one responce from Greg that I am listing below .

My initial thoughts are as follows:

1 A maximum size per pot should be introduced
1a, 100cm diameter witha a height of 30 to 40 cm.
1b, Probably but I will leave this to the experts.
1c, Unsure

2 5 male muddies per person is heaps
2a, 5
2b, no jennies even if a reduction is made.
2c, still no jennies
2d, still no jennies

3 A bag limit of 15 male sand crabs per person is plenty.

3a, No limit per boat as the number of people on board should govern the number of crabs taken.

4. This would be impossible to introduce.
Best of Luck

From Peter
Searaider 2

13-01-2005, 05:45 PM
One word of CAUTION to ALL you blokes advocating the reduction of 10 to 5 muddies...TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THAT THE NUMBER OF 5 WILL ONLY GO DOWN in any subsequent review..... BE VERY CAREFUL IN WHAT YOU WISH FOR AS THIS IS DANGEROUS TERRITORY......

14-01-2005, 11:58 AM
Webby...if witches hats are "gone" ,and your contemplating reducing "keep numbers" of mud/sandcrabs
Jennies must be allowed ,3L milkbottles must be allowed :)

Or is your only purpose to restrict something , because you/committee must be seen "to be doing something" rather than say "no".......little word, hard to say ;)

IF it's "thought" bellies-up for sand/mudcrabs at todays regs ,or unsustainable......what other info are you using ,rather than us fishos ,"gutfeel/heresay" opinions

14-01-2005, 01:48 PM
Well bugga me dead, now i'm starting to get the shits !!!
It seems to me that fishing and crabbing in the bay is becoming overun with bureacratical bull twang. >:(
Soon you'll need a laptop on board just to check all the rules and regulations. >:(
How the flippin heck is someone going to ACCURATELY measure the entrance on a flexible mesh collapsible pot.
Stretch it too much and your over . F.F.S. !!!!
The pen pushers got it WRONG when they changed the sandies legal size because of {tipping}.
They effectively REDUCED the legal size that can be kept.
Can they just keep it simple - instead of needing a bloody degree about the apparatus and floats - let alone remembering all of the fish and crab measurements.
Muddies - 5 or ten bucks per person - no jennies.
Sandies - 10 or 15 or 20 per person - no jennies.
Forget about bycatch - wobbegongs and bream can be released without harm.
Jesus... how is the bycatch in crab pots relevant compared to TRAWLERS bycatch......... ::) ::) ::) ::)
geeting peeved