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Weymouth Crabbing


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Welcome to "Weymouth Crabbing" Dorset's first eco-friendly crabbing scheme.

Crabbing has been a fun traditional activity for all the family for many years on Weymouth harbour. This scheme has been set up to address concerns over its effect on the environment and reduce single use plastics used in crabbing.

We ask visitors to take care around the water, do not crab from the harbour floating pontoons and follow the crabbing code.

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  • Use a bait bag, not a hook


  • Maximum 3 crabs per bucket and return any fighting crabs


  • Replace sea water every 10 minutes and keep your bucket in the shade


  • Return crabs to the sea gently


  • Take all kit and litter with you when finished, or recycle



  • Bucket: The bigger the bucket, the better. Crabs don’t like being overcrowded, it’s a little unfair. 

  • Crab line: Essentially, a crab line consists of a piece of string or fishing wire, bait and a weight that is heavy enough to keep the bait at the bottom of the harbour. Some crabbers use drop nets but the real skill is in using a line.

  • Crab bait: Crabs are notoriously greedy and have a super sense of smell, so the smellier the bait the better. Firm favourites are raw liver, bacon, sardines, squid and fish heads.

Recycling Bins

We prefer you to reuse your crabbing equipment but if you have finished with it please use the 'Crab line Bins' around the Harbour.

The unwanted crab drop lines and nets are collected by volunteers and the materials recycled back into raw plastic and used again.

The scheme is designed to reduce single use plastics entering land fill.

Bin locations on Google map below


Scheme Funding from

Did you know?

  • The Shore Crab grows to about 3 inches and is an opportunist scavenger. Because of its tolerance to fresh water can be found high up in river estuaries. It usually feeds on molluscs but also loves any dead matter on the shore, that’s why bacon is a real treat! After mating, Shore Crabs produce nearly 200,000 eggs which the female carries on her legs until they hatch.

  • Crabs are decapods from the crustacean family.

  • Decapod means "ten-footed". Crabs have 10 legs, however, the first pair are its claws which are called chelae.

  • Crabs usually have a distinct sideways walk. However, some crabs can walk forwards or backwards, and some are capable of swimming.

  • The collective name for the group of crabs is a cast

  • Male crabs tend to often fight with each other over females or hiding holes.

  • Crabs are omnivores, they feed mainly on algae, but also bacteria, other crustaceans, molluscs, worms, and fungi

Have you visited the crab sculptures in Hope Square?

The crabs are the handiwork of local stonemason Alex Evans.

He went out with a local fisherman, caught one or two crabs and modelled his sculptures on them, detailed models were initially sculpted from clay before being cast in bronze.

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