Northern Territory Mud Crab Fishery Management Plan

A comprehensive review of management arrangements for the fishery was recently undertaken by the Mud Crab Fishery Management Advisory Committee and includes a suite of changes to both the Northern Territory Fisheries Regulations and the Mud Crab Fishery Management Plan, which affect commercial and recreational fishers.

Commercial Mud Crab Fishery changes

Harvest strategy

The Mud Crab Fishery Harvest Strategy provides a measure of the performance of the fishery. It contains reference points, trigger limits, and corresponding management actions that guide its day to day management. Read the Harvest Strategy.

Mud crab pots and floats

  • The minimum mesh size regulation for pots used by licensees has been removed.
  • Escape vents are now mandatory in wire mesh pots used by licensees. These may be configured as either one escape vent not less than 46 mm high and 240 mm wide, or two escape vents both of which are not less than 46 mm high and 120 mm wide.
  • Floats for commercial operators must now be labelled with the ‘Vessel Identification Number’
  • The number of pot openings has been increased from two to four (excluding any opening for emptying mud crabs from the pot or replacing bait).
  • The regulation prohibiting metal or other rigid material protruding into the funnel of the pot has been removed.
  • Polyethylene mesh pots must have a stretched mesh size not less than 50 mm.
  • A complying float for a complying marine pot must have a minimum diameter not less than 100 mm.
  • A complying float for a complying marine pot must be specific marker buoy.
  • A complying float must be attached to a complying marine pot with line not less than 6 mm in diameter.

Possession of mud crabs

  • A licensee must not possess an unrestrained crabs at their camp or nominated place.
  • A licensee must not release undersize or CUC crabs within 200 m of their camp or nominated place.

Recreational Mud Crab Fishery changes

Mud crab pots and floats

  • The number of pot openings has been increased from two to four (excluding any opening for emptying mud crabs from the pot or replacing bait).
  • Polyethylene mesh pots must have a stretched mesh size not less than 50 mm.
  • A complying float for a complying marine pot must have a minimum diameter not less than 100 mm.
  • A complying float for a complying marine pot must be specific marker buoy.
  • A complying float must be attached to a complying marine pot with line not less than 6 mm in diameter.
  • Floats for amateur fishers must be labelled with the first name, last name, and active phone number of the person using the gear.

Possession of mud crabs

  • Mud crabs caught by recreational fishers must remain intact unless being used for immediate consumption or at the person’s place of permanent residence.

Comments and submissions

You can provide comments or submissions regarding the proposed amendments (61.7 kb) by:

Comments or submissions must be provided by close of business Tuesday, 19 June 2018.

Last updated: 19 May 2018