Spider Crab Bag Limit Consultation

The Victorian Fisheries Authority (VFA) are consulting on a specific recreational fishing bag and possession limit for spider crabs.

The annual spider crab aggregation at Rye and Blairgowrie is a natural phenomenon and provides limited fishery for pier-based recreational fishers to enjoy.

Recent research by the Victorian Fisheries Authority and VRFish indicates that spider crab fishing is valued by parts of Victoria’s multicultural community as an enjoyable day out, with the vast majority using the crabs that they catch to cook and eat. 

Spider crabs currently fall under the general crab catch limit of 1 litre or a combined total of 30 whole or parts of crab from one or more species across Victorian waters.

The Victorian Fisheries Authority is proposing reduced catch limit of 15 will better balance spider crab values and more equitably share spider crabs among fishers and other stakeholders.  

Comments close 27 October 2020 and fishers can send their submissions by emailing [email protected]

The Victorian Fisheries Authority stresses there is no evidence that spider crabs have been overfished and the new bag limit is not designed to address fishery sustainability issues.

VFA are currently understanding research into giant spider crab biology and working with other agencies on management and education initiatives to improve amenity values ahead of next year’s aggregation.

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