Grant helps local students continue crab research project

A high school research project, which monitors local crab populations, will continue thanks to a grant from the City of Bunbury.

Manea Senior College has received a $10,000 grant from Habitat Bunbury, allowing the students to continue monitoring the health and populations of blue swimmer crabs and spot sand crabs.

The funding will go towards buying equipment and paying for boat hire.

Bunbury mayor Gary Brennan said the students should be congratulated on their initiative and concern for the local ecology.

"It is sensational that our young people have taken such a keen interest in ensuring Bunbury's natural environment, in particular our waterways, are well looked after," he said.

"The city's Habitat Bunbury program has helped support many projects over the years including the installation of educational signage around the Big Swamp wetlands and construction of osprey nests on the banks of the Leschenault Inlet."

The students will work under the guidance of the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) to collect and record crab and water quality data, as well as look for the presence of shell disease.

The project will be used for assessing whether management measures such as reduced bag limits will be required to protect the local populations of crabs.

The data collected by students from Koombana Bay and the Leschenault Inlet will be added to a DPIRD database to monitor the health and changes in population numbers.