WA Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly has 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 WA Government has now begun consulting with the 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.
Source: WA Government