Usually, catch quotas for the rock lobster are determined 4 years prior to to the fishing season. This is completed by measuring puerulus settlement (juvenile stage of development).
Out of this catch, up to 95% of the rock lobsters caught in WA are exported to China. In January this year, exports were halted due to the COVID-19 virus. Since February, the industry has slowly increased exports. However, the prices remain low and continue to affect the valuable Australian fishery.
Photo: ABC News: Robert Koenig-Luck
The low prices for lobster have dramatically impacted Australian fishers. The low price of lobster has increased stress for fishermen as now they must catch more stock to deliver the same returns.
To deal with the stressors of COVID-19, the Australian Government has revised the regulations for fisheries and commercial fishing licenses.
Yesterday, news broke that seafood lovers could soon be enjoying $20 crayfish after the introduction of new laws the WA State government which will boost local supplies.
Under the legislation commercial rock lobster fishers will be able to sell up to 100 crayfish a day directly from the back of the boat to local restaurants, fresh fish retailers and the public.
Fisheries Minister Peter Tinley AM says it will mean more lobsters on WA plates, as well as “a unique tourism opportunity for coastal towns to promote back of boat sales to visitors”.
WA’s lucrative rock lobster trade with China is still in recovery after it was reduced to zero for a period as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
At Food You Can Trust, we promote buying and eating locally grown produce to support our local food producing industries.
And while you are supporting local fishing industries, you are also enjoying world class seafood!