New Crab Net Captures Australia’s Attention

In Australia, the widespread appeal of catching crabs is well documented. To ensure that crabs have a home in Western Australia in the future, Perth-based inventor Kate Goldie is breaking ground with her new invention, Crab Crib, ensuring humane and environmental sustainability of one of the country’s favourite pastimes.

“Having spent a lot of time crabbing in Mandurah growing up, I’ve seen first-hand the damage and pollution created by the traditional crabbing nets that degrade and make their way to the ocean.” Kate said.

“I was inspired to create the Crab Crib to provide ease of catch and release for undersize or females with eggs and minimise future environmental impacts.

A 2019 review found greater protections of the popular blue swimmer crab was needed to ensure the fishery’s long-term sustainability of the species. Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly on the 21/08/19 announced changes to strengthen the sustainability of Western Australia’s popular blue swimmer crab fishing in Perth and the South-West.

Simultaneously, the environmentally friendly, safe and humane design of the Crab Crib is garnering Australia-wide attention for projected improvements for the industry. Features include wide and slippery strip plastic and surface that prevents the damage and loss of female eggs, which are stored in an abdominal sack and are at great risk of destruction from abrasive nylon rope nets and the associated knots. The slippery strip plastic also guarantees that juvenile and undersize crabs can be easily released without prying or ripping of claws from the net. This increases the chances of survival and ongoing sustainability of the species.

The net is light-weight and load bearing, with the potential to be made from recycled plastic ocean waste. The solid components ensure longevity i.e. no knot and rope tangles, movement or fraying, further reducing the chance it could be discarded as ocean waste.

“For thousands of Western Australians catching or enjoying a feed of crabs is a highly valued activity and part of WA’s summer lifestyle. This is an experience worth protecting,” Minister Kelly said.

If you would like to learn more about this exciting innovation, Crab Crib is scheduled to air nationally on Network 10’s Australia By Design; Series 3 in September this year.