'Be kind to Weymouth's crabs'

'Be kind to Weymouth's crabs'

Published by George Sharpe at 6:51am 12th June 2019.

The campaign to keep crustaceans happy.

A new campaign has been launched in Weymouth to raise awareness amongst 'crabbers' about the kindest way to care for Common Shore Crabs.

Crabbing, or the catching of crabs, is a popular summer activity for the town's visitors and locals to get closer to wildlife.

Caz Dennett, one of the three campaign organizers, said: "On my dog walks along the harbour I regularly observe people crabbing, it is great to see families doing outdoor activities and having fun together, but I often think, do they know how to do it in a way that is kind to the crabs and has least impact on our local marine Wildlife?"

Caz was inspired by an article from Dorset Wildlife Trust she read a couple of years ago that raised this issue and wanted to take it further.

Along with friend and Marine Biologist, Emma Smart and graphic designer, Andy Smith developed the idea into a campaign.

Together the team identified 5 guidelines for crabbers:

  • Use a bait bag, not a hook
  • Maximum of 3 crabs per bucket, return any fighting crabs
  • Replace sea water every 10 minutes and keep the bucket in the shade
  • Return all crabs to the sea gently
  • Take all kit and litter with you when finished, don't leave it near the sea

The project is being supported by Weymouth BID, a business support scheme. Claudia Moore, Chief Operations Officer, said: "Weymouth BID was very pleased to be approached about this community led-project and we are proud to find a project that acknowledges one of Weymouth's great traditions, whilst working with local retailers and raising awareness around ecological issues."

Emma Smart, Marine Biologist, said: "Hopefully this initiative will also develop an inclination amongst children and adults to protect and preserve other less 'charismatic and cuddly' species of wildlife."