Certifier : 
SCS Global Services
Certified status : 
Certified
Certified since : 
23 Jun 2016
Certificate expires : 
23 Jun 2021

About

This fishery on the Peel Harvey Estuary, south of Perth, Western Australia, targets two species – the blue swimmer crab and the sea mullet. What makes it unique is that the certification assessment goes beyond commercial concerns and takes in the popular recreational fishery for swimmer crabs.

Ten licensed operators make up the commercial crab fishery, with each entitled to 42 traps. These are collapsible, with a solid metal base ring for support and structure, and a buoyant pneumatic upper ring to set the trap. The traps typically have one, two or three pairs of opposing side entry funnels. The size of the gear is limited to an internal volume not exceeding 0.31m3, or a cylindrical diameter of less than a metre.

Recreational fishers catch swimming crabs with drop nets from boats in deeper water, or by wading with scoop nets in the estuary shallows. Drop nets are limited to a diameter of 1.5m, while scoop net diameter must be no more than 370mm.

Both groups are subject to size limits (minimum 127mm carapace, well above sexual maturity at 86-97mm), area closures, seasonal and weekend closures; and recreational fishers must be licensed if using a boat. 

Eleven commercial vessels are licensed to catch sea mullet, using gill and haul nets. Haul nets are used to encircle a school of fish, while gill nets are static. Mesh size constraints are in force for each type of net, and length is also limited. Like the swimming crab fishery, the mullet fishery is subject to size limits, area closures and seasonal restrictions.

Read the Peel Harvey blue swimmer crab story >
 

Blue swimmer crab image © Matt Watson & Meredith Epp