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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries

Use an accurate gauge and measure your crabs from tip to tip across the widest part of the shell. Illustration © R. Swainston/

Tuesday 21 August 2018

Get the measure of your crabs

Give blue swimmer crabs the best chance of survival by measuring your crabs accurately as soon as you catch them and immediately returning any undersize or ‘berried’ (egg-carrying) crabs carefully to the water.

If not released immediately where they were caught, these crabs are often returned in poor health into shallow water at the shoreline, rather than into deeper, more oxygen-rich water, which would increase their chances of survival.

Blue swimmer crabs are one of our most popular recreational species so it’s important that we play our part to ensure there will be plenty of crabs for the future.

Use an accurate measuring gauge from a tackle shop and stick to your bag and size limits. Blue swimmer crabs have a minimum size limit of 127 mm, measured from the tips of the spikes across the widest part of the shell.

Fishers caught failing to immediately release protected crabs (undersize or berried), can face significant infringement penalties or court imposed fines. If prosecuted, a fine of up to $5,000 could result as well as a mandatory additional penalty of ten times the value of each protected crab.

Further information on fishing rules for blue swimmer crabs in a number of different languages can be found on our Recreational fishing guides page. 

Last modified: 21/08/2018 1:48 PM

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