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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries

WA's iconic western rock lobster

Saturday 10 November 2018

Plans to grow WA lobster industry to create jobs and boost local lobster supply

  • ​Opportunity to grow the WA western rock lobster industry
  • Potential to create 500 WA jobs and grow the economy
  • Providing more of our iconic WA lobsters for WA families and tourists

Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly has today revealed plans to grow the Western Australian lobster industry while returning more benefits to the WA community.

The western rock lobster fishery was the first fishery in the world to be certified as ecologically sustainable by the international Marine Stewardship Council.  Since then, the fishery has been successfully recertified three times with the last assessment in 2017. Recent scientific studies have confirmed the WA resource is once again in a healthy state.

The western rock lobster resource is currently worth more than $5 billion, however, the net return to the Western Australian Government through licence fees for this community resource is only $10 million per annum.

The State Government has now begun consulting with the peak industry body, Western Rock Lobster, and other stakeholders to explore options to grow the fishery, including increasing the supply of lobsters for Western Australian families and tourists.

Another initiative being considered is the establishment of an annual western rock lobster festival, which would provide locals and tourists alike with the opportunity to purchase lobsters and taste this delicious seafood. 

Discussions will also include other initiatives that may benefit the industry, such as establishing a spiny lobster research institute.

These discussions will not impact upon arrangements for recreational lobster fishing.

Comments attributed to Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly:

“Currently more than 95 per cent of commercially caught WA rock lobster is exported to China, meaning little flows into our local market for the enjoyment of Western Australians and tourists.

“Scientific studies show that this sustainably certified community resource is in excellent shape. This presents us with an opportunity to use the unfished lobster resource to return greater benefits to the WA community.

“Benefits will include the opportunity to create hundreds of new jobs in regional communities, improve lobster supply and provide a greater economic benefit to all Western Australians.

“While exploring these plans, we are committed to the sustainable management of our world-class lobster fishery, growing its value, and ensuring the future economic contribution of this natural resource.”

Minister's office - 6552 6100

Last modified: 10/11/2018 3:07 PM

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