Opportunities for mitigation

Very large numbers of crab shelters have been introduced to many south-western inlets. Despite this, there is anecdotal evidence to suggest that crab yields have not risen. It may, therefore, be possible to reduce habitat effects without detrimentally affecting collection by reducing the density and number of shelters in many areas. Laying shelters flat, rather than protruding from the sediment reduces the visual impact by making them virtually undetectable and also reduces opportunity for damage to vessels and other users. Tiles and pipes laid flat on muddy sediments do need to be moved regularly to prevent them from becoming covered by sediment. Zonation could be used to reduce bird disturbance caused by collectors visiting shelters, and conflicts in mooring and navigation channels or in shellfish beds covered by Several or Regulating Orders.

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