Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

Females Could Be Legal; Jennys May Soon Be on Dinner Plates

Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

Females Could Be Legal; Jennys May Soon Be on Dinner Plates

Article excerpt

LEE

GAILER

REPORTER

lee.gailer@gympietimes.com

AGE-old crabbing laws that restrict fishers from taking female mud crabs are out-dated and should be relaxed, says commercial crabber Andrew Gosbell.

This is his response to Fisheries Minister Craig Wallace, who asked fishers to have their say on fishery regulations, which have been in place for about 120 years, in particular the protection measures for a[approximately]Jennys'.

Since the 1890s it has been illegal to harvest female mud crabs in Queensland. Now they are in abundance.

Mr Gosbell said once females grew to more than six inches they could no longer breed because it was too difficult to mate with the smaller males.

aLarge female mud crabs are highly aggressive and highly cannibalistic.

aThese females that we throw back in the water eat juvenile crabs,a Mr Wallace said.

aA limited take of larger female crabs would help restore the balance.a

The aggressive larger females apotted really quicklya, Mr Gosbell said, adding that changes to the laws would allow a recreational fisher to put in a couple of pots and go home with a catch. …

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