Western Australia's Shaq Bay crab population rebounds

Published 16 January 2014, 11:27 AEST

According to news from Shaq Bay, Western Australia, the number of blue port crabs there has begun to increase significantly. This is good news for fishers and trawlers.

The ocean heat wave three years ago caused the number of blue portunculus in Shake Bay to drop to a very dangerous level, but now the number of crabs has greatly improved. Although the Department of Fisheries of Western Australia decided to allow fishers to catch 100 tons of crabs at the time, the fishers imposed a ban on their own and stopped catching crabs during the period from April 2012 to September 4.

Odonohue, manager of the Northern Bioregion, said that the Department of Fisheries has established new fishing restrictions as of October this year. Commercial catchers can catch 10 tons of crabs. However, only those who use traps to catch crabs can resume catching, and trawlers have to wait until March this year to start operations.

Odonohue said that the Department of Fisheries will evaluate the number of crabs again. He said that trappers can only capture half of the current 400-ton quota, which is 200 tons.

Odonohue said that this is just a prudent measure to enable the fishery department to continue to closely monitor the extent of the recovery of the blue port crab population. He said that only when the Department of Fisheries finds that all the data is okay, can the trawlers be allowed another 200 tons of fishing quota.