30/11/2021 - 15:42

Western rock lobster to be more accessible for festive season

30/11/2021 - 15:42

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More back of boat western rock lobster will be available this December after the state government agreed to double the amount commercial fishers can sell from their landings.

Western rock lobster to be more accessible for festive season
A local lobster fisher inspects his catch off the Abrolhos Islands, near Geraldton. Photo: Geraldton Fishermen's Co-operative

More back of boat western rock lobster will be available this December after the state government agreed to double the amount commercial fishers can sell from their landings. 

For the month of December, commercial fishers will be able to sell up to 400 western rock lobsters to meet demand over the Christmas period.

Quotas for the rest of the year will double to 200 per landing.

The move to increase the quotas was requested by the Western Rock Lobster Council.

Back of boat lobster sales were introduced in September 2020 to provide a market for fishers during the pandemic.

More than 91,000 western rock lobsters have been sold via back of boat sales since the program stated last year.

Fisheries Minister Don Punch said by doubling the daily quote for back-of-boat sales, fishers would be able to meet growing demand from Western Australians over the festive period while also developing new local supply chain opportunities.

“Our western rock lobster is unique to WA and back of boat sales are proving to be a diner's delight, allowing consumers to source lobster fresh off the fishing vessels as they bring in their catch from this sustainably managed fishery,” Mr Punch said.

“During last December alone, 27,489 kilograms (or approximately 45,500 lobsters) were sold to the WA community through back of boat sales.”

Western Rock Lobster Council chief executive Matt Taylor said he anticipated the increased landing limit would encourage more fisherman to participate in back of boat sales and increase the availability and accessibility of western rock lobster in the local market.

Western Rock Lobster Council chair and commercial fisherman Fedele Camarda said the public had embraced back of boat sales.

“People come down to meet and chat with us and get to know us as people,” Mr Camarda said.

“We also get to talk about our fishing and the industry so these direct sales build a really valuable connection with our community.”

Prior to quotas being introduced in 2010, back of boat sales were common.

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