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Crab Trap Rules

patbTue, 10/04/2012 - 2:33pm

Crab Trap Regs

Note that these have been updated from November 3, 2014

and the rules below have been further modified: see these additional changes in 2015

The NSW Recreational Saltwater Fishing guide www.dpi.nsw.gov.au  has useful information on crabbing. The following rules re crab traps (excerpts only, refer to the original for details) may save you from losing the trap: 

  • Not more than 2 traps and 4 witches hats/hoop/lift nets to be used (or in possession) by any person at any one time.
  • Max. dimensions – L1.2m x W1m x D0.5m (or diameter not exceeding 1.6m at the top or bottom).  Min mesh size 50mm (diagonal). No more than 4 entrances (none on the top of the trap).
  • A float/buoy not less than 10cm diameter and set 5cm above the surface of the water, clearly labelled Crab Trap with the name and address of the person who sets, uses or lifts the gear, must be attached. There must also be a 50 gram weight attached no less than one metre below the buoy so that no rope/line is floating on the surface of the water.
  • No gear in areas of high boat traffic or navigation channels.
  • Only crabs can be taken with the trap.  Check it regularly to reduce chance of harm to other animals such as turtles.
  • Crabs carrying eggs must be returned to the water, and it is an offence to remove any eggs.

Minimum legal size and daily bag limits:

  • Mud crab 8.5cm carapace (shell) length. Daily bag limit: 5
  • Blue swimmer 6cm carapace length.  Daily bag limit: Now 10

Crabs, except Spanner Crabs, are measured along the body from the notch between the two most protruding frontal teeth to the centre of the posterior margin of the carapace.

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