Know the rules before grabbing a crab

Crab fishers along the far north coast of NSW are being reminded to check the rules before dropping a trap into the water.

Industry & Investment NSW Fisheries Compliance Director, Glenn Tritton said recent compliance operations in the Brunswick River and along the far north coast of NSW have revealed there is some confusion among fishers in regards to the crab fishing rules.

“Mud crabbing is a very popular fishing activity on the NSW north coast and while we want people to enjoy fishing for these delicacies, it is important that the rules are followed,” Mr Tritton said.

“There are a range of regulations regarding the use, construction and marking of all crab traps which aim to ensure the sustainability of crab fishery.

“If fishers are unsure of the rules they should double check them before going fishing by contacting their local Fisheries office or visiting our website.”

The main rules relating to crab fishing are:

  • No more than one crab trap can be used or be in the possession of a person at any time.
  • A buoy, not less than 10cm diameter set above the surface of the water, must be attached to the crab trap.
  • The crab trap must be clearly marked ‘CRAB TRAP’ with the persons name.
  • Fishers should take care not to set the gear in areas of high boat traffic or navigation channels.
  • A daily bag limit of five Mud crabs per person applies and all crabs must be at least 8.5cm in carapace length.

“Our fisheries officers will continue to check crab traps in the Brunswick River and along the far north coast to ensure that the rules are being followed,” Mr Tritton said.

“Illegal traps will be seized and offenders will be prosecuted.”

Details of trap dimensions, marking requirements and bag and size limits are available on the Recreation fishing rules and regulations page, and in the NSW Saltwater Fishing Guide.

Fishers should report crab trap theft, illegal crab fishing activity and the illegal sale of crabs to their local Fisheries Office.