QUEENSLAND’S annual spanner crab closed season for recreational and commercial fishing commences at midnight on November 20 and runs through until midnight on December 20.
Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol district officer Russell Overton said the closed season protects spanner crabs when they are most vulnerable during their breeding season. “The closed season gives the crabs a chance to spawn and helps replenish crab stocks for future generations to enjoy,” Mr Overton said. “Spanner crabs caught unintentionally during the closed season should be carefully removed from the fishing apparatus and quickly returned to the water. Anyone caught with spanner crabs during the closed season could face on-the-spot fines of $487 up to a maximum penalty of $121,900.”
Mr Overton also reminded fishers that size and possession limits apply to spanner crabs during the open season. “Outside of the closed season spanner crabs have a possession limit of 20 per person and a minimum size limit of 10cm, measured from the centre spine to the mid-carapace base along the back,” he said. “Fishers should also remember that it is illegal to take egg-bearing (berried) female spanner crabs at any time of the year. To keep crabbing as one of Queensland’s greatest pastimes, fishers should be responsible and abide by the rules for crabbing, which are there to protect and conserve crab stocks. Being a responsible crabber means using the correct number of pots or dillies (no more than four per person), marking them correctly and being able to identify your catch.”
For more information on closed seasons for fishing in Queensland, visit www.fisheries.qld.gov.au, call 13 25 23 or download the free Qld Fishing app from Apple and Google app stores. You can follow Fisheries Queensland on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@FisheriesQld).
Photo is courtesy of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.