THIEVES THINK AGAIN!
I have an old saying when having a discussion with friends about fishing rules and regulations and it goes something like this, “I think I was wrong once about something once, but that was the day I thought I was wrong about it”. Truth be known I do not pretend to be completely in touch with all the fishing rules and regulations for the simple reason there are so many to get your head around. Fortunately over the last year or so Fisheries WA have put most of the info you need re bag, boat and size limits in one brochure, but for other species such as abalone, rock lobster and marron, you need to get the specific brochure for each.
But there are still some unscrupulous people who treat the fisheries regulations with disdain and when caught they can certainly pay a high price. Abalone penalties for taking undersize or above your bag limit are well known, with massive penalties handed out over the years, including over $9000 each to three Busselton guys caught with way over the bag limit in February this year. Craypot poaching is another activity that rightly gets under the skin of anyone who has gone to the effort to set up their pots, collect bait, pull regularly, relocate when the swell comes up, only to find some mongrel has taken their catch. Well, thieves think again if you are in the habit of doing this as Fisheries Officers taken a very dim view on the activity and only last week it was great to see a Facebook post of them seizing possession of a boat when the thief was allegedly caught with someone else’s pot in his boat at the ramp. I had a mate last year out of Dunsborough who was regularly pulling 3 or 4 crays every day out in 30 metres of water, when all of a sudden, nothing. He decided to go at dawn one day and noticed two jet ski trailers at the ramp-interesting. When he raced out to his pot, one jet ski was stranded with his cray pot rope sucked into the jet. Gotcha! The pot was about 50 metres from away from where it had been originally GPS’d, so probably drifted while they were pulling it. The guy reckoned he drove over it by accident, but my mate was having none of that. The rope had to be cut off, losing the pot, so my mate hassled him for the cost of a replacement pot, which he received later in the day and then promptly reported him to Fisheries. Best part was my mate even managed to scuba dive and retrieve the pot the next day.
Still on crayfish, I wrote an article back in October 2013 about processing crayfish and at the time I did get it just a little wrong in regard to ‘processing’ your catch. Well, now it is great to hear that Fisheries WA has made it legal to freeze crayfish tails separately, as opposed to the previous regulation of having to freeze them whole. Makes a whole lot of sense to keep the insides away from the beautiful white flesh of this WA delicacy.
To answer last week’s question, if a western rock lobster loses its legs or antenna, they grow back. This week’s question is, “What is the species in Tasmania with the recognition as being the largest freshwater invertebrate on Earth?”
Find us on seasoaringmarine