A campaign aims to raise awareness of the best way to hunt for crabs in Weymouth that is kind to marine life.

Crabbing is a popular summer activity for visitors and locals around the harbourside.

A new initiative using leaflets, posters and stickers promotes simple guidelines to help people ‘crab with kindness’.

It is the idea of local resident Caz Dennett who teamed up with marine biologist Emma Smart and graphic designer Andy Smith to develop the idea into a feasible campaign. It follows on from messages promoted in the past by Dorset Wildlife Trust.

Caz 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?”

The team identified 5 guidelines for the campaign:

  • Use a bait bag, not a hook
  • Maximum of 3 crabs per bucket, return any fighting crabs
  • Replace sea water every 10 minutes, keep your 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 trio decided that producing a leaflet, poster and sticker was the best way to communicate the guidelines. More than 20 outlets in Weymouth are supporting the idea and will distribute the leaflets with crabbing kits at the point of sale.

Andy Smith, the project’s designer, said: “Local initiatives like this are important to maintain the sustainability of our seas. It was a real boost to discover that all retail outlets were equally keen to protect the marine wildlife in our lovely harbour.”

The project is being supported by Weymouth BID.

Claudia Moore, Chief Operations Officer said: “Weymouth BID was very pleased to be approached about this community-led project and we are proud to fund a project that acknowledges one of Weymouth’s great traditions, whilst working with local retailers and raising awareness around ecological issues.”