A current estimate of the recreational catch and fishing effort for blue swimmer crabs is needed following the recent introduction of management measures designed to change the commercial/recreational composition of the catch in Cockburn Sound and Geographe Bay. The size of the recreational and commercial catches and fishing effort for these embayments is specifically needed to assess the performance of the reallocation package that has been applied. The total catch and fishing effort (recreational and commercial) will enable the refinement of the management packages for these fisheries to maintain agreed resource shares.
This assessment is also required to confirm, for the two fishing sectors, that the management methodology adopted has achieved its objectives. Should this be confirmed, the project will become a case study for use by the Resource Sharing Advisory Committee recently setup by Fisheries WA as part of the Integrated Coastal Fisheries Initiative.
These embayments have been the source of considerable debate and controversy between recreational and commercial fishers. The major obstacle to the resolution of fishery management and resource sharing issues in Cockburn Sound and Geographe Bay is the lack of current data on the recreational catch.