RecFish SA are supporting a proposal from the Development Recreational Fisheries Committee (DRFC) calling for a repeat of this summers’ Recreational Crabbing Only Zones, 3km from shore along the Adelaide metro coast from Outer Harbour to Marino Rocks, and an expansion of the zone to include the western shores of the Gulf St Vincent, from Ardrossan to Stansbury.
The DRFC is an independent group of recreational fishers who operate within the Recreational Fishery Committee (RFC) structure managed by RecFish SA. The committee has been supported by the Department of Primary Industry and Regions (PIRSA) as an interim committee to facilitate the unified representation of recreational fishers in South Australia.
Announced in January this year, the recreational crabbing zone was intended to reduce conflict and competition between recreational and commercial fishers during the popular fishing season. Investigating the need to call for a repeat of the recreational only crabbing zone from January next year, the DRFC heard numerous accounts from the western side of the gulf, where recreational crabbing experiences have also been adversely affected by poor catches. It is feared that this is having a serious impact on tourism in those coastal towns which are normally popular with visiting crabbers, during the period of January to April.
The DRFC have proposed:
- A reprise of the 2014 Adelaide Metropolitan coastal “3km” commercial closure, for the period 16 January 2015 to 30 April 2015, from Outer Harbor to Marino Rocks
- Additionally, the implementation of a similar measure on the Western coast of GSV between Ardrossan and the southern extremity of Stansbury spit (a likewise highly utilsed area for recreational fishing during the same period)
Earlier this year, RecFish SA issued this statement calling for a long-term management response to the decline in the St Vincent Gulf Blue Swimmer Crab Fishery and the return of the fishery to a sustainable level. The stock is assessed annually and on June 30th 2014, PIRSA announced that in the St Vincent Gulf Blue Crab fishery:
RecFish SA urges the fishery managers to consider the DRFC proposal.
Recreational fishers’ views on this issue are also being sought and can be directed to email@example.com