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Catching crayfish

Capturing crayfish by hand

It takes skill to capture a crayfish by hand without damaging it as you check to ensure it is legal. So what makes a crayfish illegal? Well for starters they cannot be in soft shell, have eggs, or be under the minimum size. Check Ministry of Fisheries web page for more information on the regulations.  When going for the crayfish I like to use my left hand to wave in front of them to one side and as they come forward to investigate garb them with my right hand on top of the head. With the bigger crayfish it is possible to grab them at the base of the horns and give them a bit of a shake. Shaking them upsets the sand balance in their heads and makes them go all dizzy like.

Article by Paul Morris


Using a crayfish noose

Scuba divers may use hand-operated nooses to gather rock lobster (crayfish) in all New Zealand waters. Also known as cray-loops, this method is seen to be less damaging than some currently permitted methods and will also improve recreational divers’ ability to safely catch rock lobster.

However, spring-loaded nooses are banned. Spring loaded nooses can damage lobsters and reduce the chances of lobsters surviving upon release.  Current research suggests hand-operated nooses cause fewer injuries to both soft and hard shell lobsters than hand gathering, which is an already permitted method.

Permanent link to this article: http://nzu.org.nz/diving-in-nz/environmental/catching-crayfish/