The commercial blue swimmer crab fishery along the Adelaide coastline and on the eastern side of the Yorke Peninsula will be temporarily closed to give recreational fishers greater opportunities to catch the popular shellfish, Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries Leon Bignell has announced.
The annual commercial blue crab fishery closure covering Gulf St Vincent has been in place since November, and will end at midnight on Thursday, 15 January.
The new temporary closure – from Friday 16 January to Saturday 28 February – will cover two specific areas along the Adelaide Metropolitan coast: St Kilda Beach to the northern Outer Harbor breakwater; and the southern Outer Harbor breakwater to Marino Rocks.
The temporary closure also applies to a two nautical mile area adjacent to the Ardrossan, Black Point, Port Vincent, and Stansbury boat ramps.
These arrangements will be implemented again at Easter time in April.
Mr Bignell said the commercial use of blue swimmer crab and sand crab pots will be banned during the temporary closure to give recreational fishers better aces to the crabs.
“The closure coincides with the peak recreational fishing period along these popular holiday coastline areas,” Mr Bignell stated.
“We’ve worked closely with the South Australian Blue Crab Pot Fishers Association about these closures, with the Association recommending the closure periods and areas. Commercial fishers will still be able to fish in the remaining areas of Gulf St Vincent, so premium South Australian seafood will continue to be available for the local and interstate markets.”
Association President Bart Butson said the Association liaised with both the State Government and RecFish SA to develop recommendations on the closures as part of its revised Code of Practice.
“We believe a cooperative approach benefits all users of the resource, and it’s why the Association proposed the closed areas and closure timings to assist recreational fishers during the peak recreational Blue Swimmer Crab fishing period,” he said.
“We will continue to collaborate with the State Government and other stakeholders to ensure there is a sustainable Blue Swimmer Crab fishery which supports the needs of all South Australians through the supply of fresh clean seafood to consumers, and opportunity for those that want to participate in recreational fishing.”