Publication Date


Series Number

Fisheries Research Report No. 258


Government of Western Australia Department of Fisheries




1035 - 4549


Two projects were funded to investigate iconic blue swimmer crab stocks in the Peel-Harvey Estuary and Mandurah to Bunbury Developing Crab Fishery. One was a four year project (2007 – 2011) to undertake the following: i) determine recruitment and spawning stock levels of the crab population in the Peel-Harvey Estuary and whether the status of stocks has changed considerably in the past decade, ii) establish a commercial monitoring program to assess the length frequency and sex ratio of crabs captured by commercial fishers, and iii) develop a commercial monitoring program in the Mandurah to Bunbury Developing Crab Fishery and South West Trawl Managed Fishery. A fishery-independent study was conducted at 15 sites throughout the estuary per month between December 2007 and December 2011. Sites chosen were identical to those surveyed between 1995 and 1998, to allow historical comparisons. Additional trap sites were sampled outside the Peel-Harvey Estuary monthly from August 2008 to December 2011 to understand crab abundance, composition and movement between estuarine and oceanic waters. A second project was a 12-month recreational survey in the Peel-Harvey Estuary between November 2007 and October 2008 to provide an estimate of recreational catch and effort.

Number of Pages



Crab fisheries; Blue swimmer crab; Portunus armatus; Stock assessment; Brood stocks; Recruitment; Recreational fishing; Commercial fishing; Catch and effort; Fishery statistics; Fishery surveys; Peel-Harvey Estuary - Western Australia; Mandurah - Western Australia; Bunbury - Western Australia

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