Crabs and Lobsters

Fishermen face big fines if caught with crabs in off season

Fishermen face big fines if caught with crabs in off season

BETWEEN November 20 – December 20 recreational and commercial fishers will no longer be able to fish for spanner crabs.

The month-break marks Queensland’s annual closed season, to protect the crabs during breeding season.

The break allows the species to spawn, ensuring a sustainable fishery for future generations.

Fines of $504 and a maximum penalty of $126,150 can apply to anyone caught with spanner crabs during the closed season.

Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol district officer Russell Overton said spanner crabs caught during the closed season should be carefully removed from the fishing apparatus before quickly being returned to the water.

He said fishers should also remember size and possession limits applied to spanner crabs during the open season.

“During the open season, there is a possession limit of 20 spanner crabs per person, and a minimum size limit of 10cm, measured from the centre spine to the mid carapace base along the back,” he said.

“It’s also illegal to take egg-bearing (berried) female spanner crabs.”

For more information on closed seasons for fishing in Queensland, visit www.fisheries.qld.gov.au, or call 13 25 23.

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