Western Australia

An eye in the sky adds value to Mandurah crabbing survey

For the first time in Western Australia, drone technology will be rolled out to monitor how recreational fishers go about getting their catch.

WA Fisheries and Innovation and ICT Minister Dave Kelly launched the first drone being used in a 12-month survey run by the WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development to monitor the recreational catch of the Mandurah crab fishery.

In June 2016, professional and recreational fishers who share the blue swimmer crab resource from the estuary, joined forces to become the world’s first commercial and recreational fishery to ever be certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).

This survey will provide a comprehensive estimate of the distribution and effort of recreational fishers that go crabbing in the estuary, a condition of the MSC certification.

The range of cameras that will be used in the survey will provide 24-7 data on people wading within the field of view, and provide invaluable information on how fishers use these sites during the day and night.

Source: WA Government