MEDIA RELEASE – October 15, 2015
The 2015/16 lobster season is all the more exciting for the 50,000 odd licensed fishers with Department of Fisheries scientist forecasting a high abundance of lobster in local waters, meaning more lobster in time for Christmas.
The 2015 season, opened on 15 October and brings with it new rules that now allow two people to share lobster pots.
Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland said lobster fishing is an uniquely Western Australia experience and the new rules will allow more people to get involved and put more lobster on the table in time for Christmas.
“The last few lobster seasons have been fantastic and with the science pointing towards another bumper season and the new rules allowing more people to have a go, this year’s season is all about improving recreational fishing experiences” Dr Rowland said.
“Almost 47,000 recreational lobster licences were bought last season and these new changes will encourage more people to fish for lobster and may push this figure well beyond 50,000.”
WA’s Western Rock Lobster fishery was the first MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) certified fishery in the world which shows how well managed this fishery is and how important lobster is to families in WA.
The new changes to lobster rules will mean:
• Two licensed fishers can share pots, especially benefitting families and people who work away
• Fishers can share the costs of lobster gear
• The pots can be pulled by either licenced fisher on any given day
• A reduction of pots in the water, which will lower the risk of boat entanglements.
Previously, if one licence holder couldn’t fish on a particular day the pot would remain unattended. Under the new rules, the same pot can still be tended to by the other licence holder. Each licensed fisher must attach a separate float with only their own gear identification (ID) number on it. This should reduce the rate of pot theft and interference, given that pots can be pulled by either licenced fisher.
The new rules also compliment the positive 2012 rule changes that increased the bag limit to eight, the boat limit to 24, increased the number of licenced fishers on a boat to three and diving for lobster at the Abrolhos Islands. In 2013 Recfishwest was also successful in moving the season forward one month.
Please click here for new lobster rule changes and Lobster FAQ’s.
Recfishwest is the effective voice driving positive change for the recreational fishing community of WA.