Catch to increase for WA Deep Sea crabs and Rock Lobster

Commercial catch limits for deep sea crab and rock lobster on the south coast of Western Australia will be increased thanks to effective fisheries management supporting fisheries sustainability.

The South Coast Crustacean Managed Fishery (SCCMF) extends from Augusta to the South Australian border and includes fishing for crystal crab, giant crab, champagne crab, southern rock lobster and western rock lobster.

The State Government has worked collaboratively with industry over recent years to implement a quota management system and an improved science program to rebuild deep sea crab and rock lobster stocks on the south coast.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s latest scientific stock assessment or ‘health check’ for the fishery showed that all stocks have recovered to sustainable levels and that there was an opportunity to increase catch limits for some stocks.

The latest science was reviewed against the harvest strategy and in consultation with industry, and has provided recommendations for increased catch limits in three zones within the fishery from 1 July.

In zone one (Augusta) fishing for giant crab will increase from 1505 kilograms to 1900 kilos, while fishing for southern rock lobsters will more than double from 700 kilograms to 2000 kilograms.

In zone two (Albany) limits will increase for crystal crab from 6000 kilos to 7500 kilograms and in zone four (Inshore Bight Zone) fishing for crystal crab and giant crab will increase significantly with both going from 430kilos to 2000 kilos.

The fishery also recently received Commonwealth Government export approval in recognition of the strong fisheries management, science and compliance programs to deliver positive and acceptable environmental outcomes from the fishery.