National Workshop to mitigate theft of estuarine pots.

Project Number:



Professional Fishermen’s Association Inc (PFAI)

Principal Investigator:

Tricia Beatty

Project Status:


FRDC Expenditure:



Adoption, Industry

Estuarine Pot Theft Solution - National Workshop Report

Final Report
Author(s):Patricia Beatty & Rodger Watson
Date Published:November 2016
The NSW Professional Fishermen’s Association in conjunction with the Fisheries Research Development Corporation organised an intensive workshop with a wide representation of participants from across Australia aimed at addressing issue of theft of and from estuarine pots.  Facilitated by the Designing Out Crime Research Centre, the workshop demonstrated a unique multi-driver approach by addressing the problem space in an innovative and collaborative manner.

The theft of and from estuarine pots is a serious issue facing both the NSW commercial fishing and recreational fishing communities. Mud crabs are highly prized and fetch high prices in seafood markets. This high price drives a thriving black market for mud crabs which is contributed to by both recreational and commercial fishers.  A discussion of possible solution directions is necessary with the rising incidences, and new and innovative measures will be required to prevent or discourage theft of mud crabs from estuarine
pots in the future. The Workshop was used to examine what pathways exist and possible mitigative measures to reduce the likelihood of the theft.

The Workshop identified 17 recommendations that focused on Justice, community awareness, stewardship, trust and innovation. The recommendations are still conceptual and require further development, but give a clear sense of the priority areas and issues identified.The Workshop agreed that the recommendations be presented a potential research directions and provide “solid starting points”.
Keywords:  Theft, innovation, Scylla serrata, Portunus pelagicus


1. empower and provide tools to attendees to find innovative solutions

2. Framing the problem in a way that enables generation of solutions

3. Create solution directions to a complex and wicked problem

4. A Plan of Action that includes recommendations for further work to deal with the issues across all relevant stakeholder groups.