Make yourself heard in blue swimmer crab survey

December 20, 2017

Blue swimmer crab: A new online survey will guide future management of the fishery

Blue swimmer crab: A new online survey will guide future management of the fishery (Pic: Recfishwest)

If you love to fish for blue swimmer crabs, your views are wanted by Murdoch University researchers.

Novice fishers and seasoned veterans alike are being urged to respond to an online survey. The answers will help guide future management of the blue swimmer crab fisheries in key locations such as the Swan River in Perth and the Peel Harvey estuary in Mandurah.

“Fishing for delicious blue swimmer crabs is considered a staple of the Western Australian summer by many enthusiasts, and we want to help keep it that way,” lead researcher Dr James Tweedley said.

“We want to understand more about what people want from their fishing trips, as well as their motivations for fishing, concerns about the fishery and opinion on management options.”

Fellow Murdoch researcher Dr Michael Hughes added that restocking programs had been used to increase numbers of animals in other fisheries.

“We want to know what crab fishers think about such programs,” he said.

“The survey will also help us to understand how people think the fishery has changed over time.”

Dr Tweedley said this kind of social survey of fishers’ attitudes had never been done before in WA.

The research team behind the survey has already been speaking to fishers in the region about their opinions of the fishery, with their responses helping to guide the design of the online survey.

The survey is completely anonymous and can be accessed here. It should only take 10-15 minutes to complete.

The questionnaire is part of a three year study investigating the social and economic aspects of blue swimmer crab and black bream fisheries, entitled Golden Fish.

The project is supported by funding from the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation on behalf of the Australian Government. Additional financial support is provided by the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund supported by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and Recfishwest.

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