15 January 2014
The use of commercial crab pots will be temporarily prohibited in an area of Adelaide metropolitan waters in an effort to ensure equitable access of the resource between user groups.
The decision to implement the closure, effective from Thursday, 16 January 2014 to Wednesday, 30 April 2014, follows concerns raised by recreational anglers and local residents.
The closure covers an area extending from the southern Outer Harbor breakwater to Marino Rocks and affects commercial fishers using both blue crab and sand crab pots.
Complaints have traditionally occurred from the time the commercial Blue Swimmer Crab fishery opens in Gulf St Vincent on January 16 and throughout the warmer months. The period of the closure coincides with the peak recreational fishing period along the Adelaide metropolitan coastline. A previous 12 month closure was implemented in the same area in 2005-2006.
The closure follows changes to commercial and recreational blue swimmer crab fishing limits made by the State Government in May last year.
The State Government has been in consultation with the South Australian Blue Crab Pot Fishers Association Inc (SABCPFA) over the new temporary closure. The SABCPFA has also indicated it will be conducting a comprehensive review of its Code of Practice with assistance from PIRSA officers during the closure period, due to be completed by the end of April.
The State Government is aware that a concerning level of non-compliance has been detected with regards size and bag limits in the recreational crab raking sector. Recreational fishers need to do the right thing and adhere to all of the rules in place to ensure the sustainability and health of our State’s fisheries, and any recreational fishers found breaking the rules face penalties under the Fisheries Management Act.
For further information on the temporary commercial crab pot closure visit www.pirs.sa.gov.au/fisheries.