Crabbers cop fines for undersized catch

Six people were prosecuted in the Mandurah Magistrates Court on Tuesday for catching more than 200 undersized crabs.

Yi Chen, XueGuang Ge and Yunbin Lin were scooping for crabs at Boggy Bay in January when they were spotted by Fisheries officers.

The court heard when the trio realised they were being watched, they threw buckets containing the crabs into the bush.

Officers retrieved 155 blue swimmer crabs, with 152 of those undersized.

They were all dead.

Chen and Lin were fined $500, while Ge was fined $1200 for giving officers a false name.

All three men were ordered to pay a mandatory penalty of $1467.90.

Three other men were also handed fines for taking 60 undersized crabs from Herron in January.

Xiangliang Song, Xiyou Wang and Yajuan Wang were driving from Island Point when officers saw them turn around before the Fisheries checkpoint.

They were found with 68 blue swimmer crabs, 60 of those undersized.

Song and Xiyou Wang were fined $1000 while Yajuan Wang was fined $500.

They were each ordered to pay a $3150 mandatory penalty for obstructing a Fisheries officer and possessing a protected fish.

Fishers are reminded that the legal minimum size limit for a blue swimmer crab is 127mm which is measured across the widest part of the shell.




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  1. Anyone caught with this number of under size crabs or even so many over the limit should get a ban also. The $$ does not necessarily help the crab population but a ban will at least get them out of the water. and if caught crabbing again? 10 x the fine and possibly a term behind bars. This is only a small % of the actual number of people doing this every day, no wonder its so hard to catch any over size. I used to get the bag limit from netting with the kids in a couple or so hours, seven years ago. But given up, the last 3 or 4 times we caught only 1 or 2 for over 3 hours, Kids got bored and not keen to go any more. what a shame………..

  2. The fines are a bloody joke! No wonder why they flaunt the laws . Waste of effort disgusting !

  3. You really need to punish people a lot harder if u want send a message out to the community
    Really nearly 200 crabs you have to be joking

  4. Is it odd that all these caught have un pronounceable names?

  5. The fines aren’t nearly tough enough – wonder how much they receive when selling them to restaurants etc the mind boggles.

  6. I agree. The fines were not enough. Should be something like; $1,000 plus $200 for every under size or over limit crab.

  7. a five year ban from holding a fishing licence, + the fines would be a suitable concequence.

  8. These people should be punished harder as the rest of the community suffers for their greed. I can ashore you that these people are not just gathering for themselves but are using them in restaurants owned by them or their relatives.
    Punish them hard or they will keep offending.

  9. So if everybody wants the fines increased why are they so piss poor? Take their car, their gear, their boat and maybe the fine should be $1000 per under size crab. When they are faced with losing their car, boat and possible their house if they keep it up it becomes too much and they will stop. Obviously most people care enough to do the right thing but those who don’t care do this kind of thing all the time and those pathetic fines will not discourage them. Just imagine how many they’ve taken before actually getting caught and how many they will continue to take. OUR estuary is too large an area to be properly policed with the amount of officers we have and the small percentage of people doing the wrong thing can do massive amounts of damage to the species and ecosystem that many depend on to get their seafood. Like Lee, I too have given up crabbing because it’s not worth the effort or even the fuel cost when you get 1 or 2 crabs every time. WAKE UP you so called authorities and take appropriate action or you could just continue your piss weak efforts making you just as responsible for the death of our estuary species as the offenders!

  10. the fines are a joke. these people do it for living all year thats why there is not many legal size crabs .they should be fined at least $100 for every crab under size or over the limit……..

  11. Fisheries officers are set with an arduous task trying to manage such a large area.
    I believe that there should be a several year closed season in the mandurah estuary.
    Due to muppets like the six peanuts that were caught.
    Increase the fines and see what happens.

    • Everyone agrees…increase the fines. Reduce the season. Get more rangers to stop these people from decimating our once healthy crab population.
      Dept fisheries…DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!!!!!!!!

  12. Agree, the fines are a joke.

  13. They must have cleaned out Australind. Battling to see an undersize crab this year.

  14. Yes don’t fine them ban them and forfeit any vehicles or boats used This would be s greater deterrent if it was not for these bastards there would huge sizing crabs every year and there is nothing better than a whopper crab or two A deeply disgusted resident of Mandurah Fisheries get off your keister and ensure more of these people are caught I know for a fact that for every one caught there are 50 getting away with it

  15. Ban them from crabbing full stop because they will keep doing it.
    Increase the fines and put more inspector’s out there, use the money from the fees we pay.
    The people who do the right thing have nothing to worry about.
    I think the season opens too early,
    Open it in January.

  16. Agree the fines are not enough. Fines should be increased and the suspension of fishing licences for five years would be a good deterrent.

  17. I agree the fines are a joke. Maybe it should be $1000 for breaking the law plus $200 per crab for the first 5 (undersize or over the limit), then $300 per crab for 6 or more. Sounds harsh but this is the only way to send the message to the greedy and uncaring ones. In addition, if you take more than 10 undersize or over your limit, then a five year fishing license ban should apply (in addition to the above fines). This way, we can all be assured there will be crabs for generations to come. If we don’t do this the place will be cleaned out of all it’s breading stock.

    On a similar tack, why don’t we limit the taking of female crabs (whether they have eggs or not). This will help keep the breeding stock. Maybe make it that no more than 25% of your catch can be female crabs.

  18. Unbelievable, why is the punishment so light. What a huge impact on the fishery!
    What if they were Crays ? I’m sure the repercussions would have been more severe.
    I’d hazard a guess this wasn’t the first time for these people ! Need to get tougher !!!
    I’m sure they haven’t learnt a lesson….not like they didn’t know what they were doing.

  19. Corey phillipson

    That is the biggest joke of a fine in history
    These people are raping the systems and laughing in the fisheries face
    Wake up now or it will be too late

  20. Catching crabs (even from a boat) becomes more and more of an effort each year in the Harvey Estuary. Apart from the illegals, there are just more people after them know. Other measures need to be taken eg buy out the professional fishing licences, longer closed season.

  21. Joke, no licence issued again….ever…banned forever

  22. I don’t believe banning them from having a fishing licence will be effective, the vast majority of crabbers don’t have a licence to start with as they don’t use a boat.

  23. Having a fishing licence for any fishing activity may be better, a $10.00 licence for all the fishing activities, that are not covered at present could help fund more fisheries officers to patrol the area more vigilantly.

  24. not to many aussie names in there so send them packing so if they dont want to fit in tip them out of australia. that will solve the problem .

  25. I agree with all comments, especially from Peter, what if it was a dhui look how you would be prosecuted, understand crabs are more plentiful but keep this crap up and they will disappear.. You need to take their gear, harsher penalties especially if crab is on their resturaunt menu. Wake up authorities and take action before the pissed off locals do.

  26. From their names above, it is obvious that all these perpetrators are Asian. They all apeared in court, found guilty and heavily fined. This was all reported in local press. Only the names of the guilty were published. No age, no address of any one of the scum. I sent an email to the editor of the organ asking why these details were not published. I received a reponse saying the paper was not given this information, and the editor was not sure of the importance of such information.
    Last week a caucasian appeared in court accused of, and found guilty, of beating the shit out of his partner. His name, age, and residential address, Herron, was published. This caucasian was fined little more than court costs and paced on a suspended sentence. FMBD!

  27. Didn’t Pauline Hanson wants to introduce an identity card. this would stop them lying to fisheries also i agree with a 10 dollar per crabber fee per person per year to employ more officers

  28. Concerned Migrant

    The fines are an absolute joke! Penalties are typically imposed to deter (or punish) people from performing a certain action. Do the authorities truly believe that such a small fine will deter people?! The important distinction is also that this wasn’t the case of someone just catching a few crabs & finding one of the crabs slightly undersized; this is a case of a planned, organised venture for business purposes, where these sods are very likely catching hundreds of undersized crabs on a regular basis because they get paid for it. They KNEW the consequences and the penalties and still did it because obviously, the pay off is greater than the puny fine they get IF they are caught. Wake up authorities – these ineffective fines you are imposing are nothing more than a token. They do nothing to change the behaviour of irresponsible, unethical people. The fines should be high enough to make undersize crabbing so unattractive that no one dares do it! (ie. Removal of licence + $300 fine per underside crab +
    additional fine of $10,000 in cases where 10 or more undersize crabs are caught).

    This is NOT a small offence. Fishing/crabbing unethically can destroy that entire system which then has disastrous impacts on the ecosystem as a whole. One little change can trigger a wave of consequences.
    [P.S: I am not even an Australian citizen (I’m residing here as a Permanent Resident). Am I more concerned about the impacts of these offences than Australians themselves?! Also, I come from a country where the waters, the quality of food & the environment have been destroyed due to a lack of enforcement of laws. Don’t let this tragedy happen in Australia too].

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