Brian?s crab pots raided

ALL THAT remained in Brian Crumblin's crab pots on Sunday was the top of a crab shell and a can of beer.

Brian was furious to see his crab pots raided yet again.

'That can of beer didn't get in there by itself,' Brian said.

He had only shifted the pots on Saturday and when he pulled them out on Sunday, was confronted by the raiding.

'They've been raided two or three times over the last six months,' he said.

It's made him think twice about laying crab pots.

'It just doesn't pay to leave them overnight,' he said. 'Some people can't help themselves.'

But he doubted whether anyone would be caught over the offence which attracts a hefty fine.

'What can you do?' he said.

'You've got to catch them in the act.' Brian wasn't about to stop crabbing but he was concocting his own ideas to avoid being targeted by thieves.

'It's not going to stop overnight,' Brian said.

'Bright orange floats in the middle of the water. They're easy to see.

'One chap has black coloured floats and hides them in the mangrove bushes and that's what I'm going to have to start doing.

'We'll try again.' The Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries (DPIF) warned floats had to be light coloured.

Crab pot raiding is one of the biggest complaints DPIF recieves.

While DPIF primarily deals with commercial crabbers, the maximum penalty for thieves who steal crabs is $37,500.

However a DPIF spokesperson said stealing was usually a police matter and crabbers' first complaint should be to the police.