Rock Lobster Assessment

Rock Lobster

nupina (Rock Lobster)
In palawa kani, the language of Tasmanian Aborigines, with thanks to the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre.

Jasus edwardsii (Southern Rock Lobster)

Southern rock lobster have long been an important natural resource for Tasmanian communities representing a traditional food source for the local Aboriginal population and supporting major modern recreational and commercial fisheries. The commercial fishery currently catches just over 1000 tonnes per annum and a landed value of about $90 million. Recreational lobster fishing is an important activity for many Tasmanians. In 2019/20 an estimated 54.3 tonnes was caught by over 12 000 active recreational fishers.

The southern rock lobster fishery in Tasmania has undergone substantial management changes since the introduction of the Individual Transferable Quota (ITQ) system in the 1998/99 season.  The ITQ system had two main elements. The first was a fixed total allowable catch for the species in Tasmania and this allowed managers to control stock levels.  The second part of the ITQ system involved splitting the total catch into quota shares that were given to fishers and could then be sold and traded. This second step was intended to reduce the number of vessels operating in the fishery so that economic rents could be paid to holders of the quota shares.  With scientific support from IMAS the capitalisation (value) of these quota shares increased from $200 million in 2011 to almost $1 billion in 2019.

Learn more about MSY (Maximum Sustainable Yield) and MEY (Maximum Economic Yield) on our Stock Assessments Information Page: