Qld's jennies remain off the menu
THE State Government has given a special life-saving Christmas gift to the state's female mud crabs.
They will remain off-limits to fishing and off the menu in Queensland, following "passionate feedback from fishers all over the state," Fisheries Minister Craig Wallace said yesterday.
Mr Wallace said 439 Queenslanders had their say on the proposal for a limited take of "jennies" by recreational anglers.
"Queenslanders have spoken on the question of whether we should allow a restricted take of female mud crabs for recreational fishers and the answer is 'no'," he said.
"Queenslanders called, emailed or wrote to me about jenny mud crabs, with the final tally 287 against and 152 for changing the rules.
"The clear message from Queensland fishers is that the current system of regulation for mud crabs works well.
"So it will remain," Mr Wallace said.
"That means there will be no jennies on Queenslanders' plates for Christmas lunch this year or at any other time.
"The feeling from Queenslanders is that any take of female mud crabs would harm our breeding stocks and harm long-term sustainability.
"Queensland is well known for the quality of its mud crabs, so I want to ensure the community is comfortable about the way they are managed.
"It has been illegal in Queensland to take female mud crabs for over 100 years and following the public feedback, we won't be changing the law.
"Fishers are still able to catch male mud crabs larger than 15cm, with a bag limit of 10," he said.
The minister said he was grateful to those who participated in the public comment process, helping ensure the government's decision was the right one for Queenslanders.
"I would like to thank every Queenslander who contributed to the discussion on the important issue of mud crab sustainability," Mr Wallace said.
He said there had not been any consideration of any take of female mud crabs by commercial fishermen and that issue was not under consideration.