Blue swimmer crab size limits have increased. Picture Carl Charter
Blue swimmer crab size limits have increased. Picture Carl Charter

Check your crabs carefully, size limits are about to change

Fishers will soon need to check their crab pots even more carefully, with fisheries announcing an increase in size limits for blue swimmer crabs caught recreationally.

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Fisheries has announced changes to recreational Blue Swimmer Crab size limits set to come into effect from April 30.

It was hoped an increase of only half a centimetre would increase crab numbers.

Blue Swimmer crabs. Picture: John Appleyard
Blue Swimmer crabs. Picture: John Appleyard

The NSW Department of Primary Industries deputy director General Fisheries Sean Sloan said: “The small increase in the size limit for blue swimmer crabs from 6.0cm to 6.5cm will assist total egg production by protecting spawning crabs and improve the productivity of the stock over time.”

“It will also provide consistency between the recreational and commercial fishing sectors and provide an overall improvement in the abundance of crabs,” Mr Sloan said.

“The changes will come into effect on April 30 this year so we wanted to give fishers as much notice as possible.

“NSW Fisheries will be out in the community over the coming weeks to speak to fishers to make sure they are aware of the changes and answer any questions they may have.”

Mr Sloan said these changes have been implemented following consultation with and support from the NSW Recreational Fishing Advisory Council.

“These changes are being implemented following consultation with and support from the NSW Recreational Fishing Advisory Council who do a fantastic job representing the interest of fishers,” Mr Sloan said.

“The recreational fishing industry is worth $3.4 billion in economic activity every year so it’s critical we all work together to ensure the sustainability of this fantastic resource.”

Blue swimmer crabs can be found all along the NSW coast, as far south as Eden, and there are restrictions on how they are caught, as well as size and bag limits.

More information about the recreational fishing rule changes are available online at www.fisheries.nsw.gov.au, or by contacting your local NSW DPI Fisheries office.

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