Government may allow catching of female mud crabs in Queensland

Main Roads, Fisheries and Marine Infrastructure

The Honourable Craig Wallace


Jennys could claw their way onto Queensland plates

Fisheries Minister Craig Wallace is encouraging fishers across Queensland to have their say on Queensland's Fisheries regulations.

Mr Wallace said fishers are being given the opportunity to provide feedback on issues important to them.

"I am very interested in finding out what recreational fishers think about a limited take of female mud crabs," Mr Wallace said.

"Protection measures have been in place for 'Jennys' in Queensland for about 120 years, and while we need to continue to ensure sustainability of female mud crabs, I am interested to know what fishers think about a relaxing of restrictions.

"It has been illegal since the 1890s to take any female mud crabs in Queensland and what we are seeing is an abundance of 'Jennys' in Queensland waters.

"Since that time, fishers have only been allowed to catch male muddies so 'bucks' rarely grow larger than 15cm before they are caught.

"Fishing experts tell me that once females grow to more than 16 cm, they can no longer breed as they find it difficult to mate with smaller males.

"Often families go crabbing and only catch one or two big females, so I am asking what Queenslanders think about allowing a limited take of these big 'Jennys'.

"To restore a bit of balance to Queensland's mud crab population, I want to know how fishers would feel about allowing a limited lake of larger female mud crabs.

"An appropriate take could be, for example, one large female per boat per fishing trip, one large female per person per fishing trip or a limited number of females for a specific period of time.

"This is about getting the balance right between sustainability and Queenslanders' right to enjoy recreational fishing.

"We have some of the world's best seafood on offer here in Queensland and as a keen fisherman myself, I want Queensland fishers to be able to enjoy the sensational catches our waters have to offer while sustaining stocks for the future."

"I also regularly get feedback from fishers that some of our regulations can be confusing, such as the various size limits which apply for the take of Cod in Queensland.

"Different bag limits for different species can lead to uncertainty when fishing and I would be interested to hear from fishers how these rules could be simplified.

Queensland fishers can have their say at by 30 November 2011.