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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
A fisher holding a lobster to show tag underneath its body
A major lobster tagging project is providing new insights into WA’s lobster population. The tags can be found on the underside of the body and have a unique identifying number.
Monday 6 August 2018

Tagging uncovers rock lobster marathon trek

Data from our rock lobster tagging project has shown that two female rock lobsters trekked more than 400 kilometres in the space of just three months.
This information and other project data is providing important insights into WA’s western rock lobster population and is playing a vital role in the management of the fishery.

Both rock lobsters in the 'whites' migratory phase were tagged and released off Fremantle in December 2014 and travelled an average of more than five kilometres per day, with one recaptured off Dongara in mid-February 2015 and the other caught a week later west of the Abrolhos Islands.

The study, launched in 2014, was a joint project with the Western Rock Lobster Council, with support from the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC), and saw more than 210,000 lobsters tagged.

As of July 2018, nearly 3,000 of the tagged lobsters have been recaptured and reported to us.

The information from the recaptured lobsters is helping researchers determine factors such as movement, growth and mortality, which will aid the continued sustainability of our lobster stocks.

If you catch a tagged lobster, write down the tag number, lobster size (carapace length), date, location (GPS co-ordinates if possible) and depth at which it was caught and send the details to us. Also record whether it was carrying eggs, or had a tar spot, and whether it was kept or released.

You can send the details using the FishTagWA app, by email or phone us on 9203 0111.

If the lobster is undersize or berried or you have exceeded your bag limit, return the lobster to the water immediately with the tag still attached.

Share the recapture information with us and as a thank you, we will send you a Scratch‘n’Win card and information on your lobster and its travels.

Last modified: 7/08/2018 5:07 PM

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