More local lobster available just in time for Christmas
There will be more western rock lobster available for the Christmas table this year with the sale of local lobster from the back of boats set to double.
The McGowan Government has approved new arrangements that will allow commercial fishers to increase the number of lobsters sold from the back of boats to 200 per landing during December 2020 and January 2021.
In September the McGowan Government announced changes to legislation to allow commercial rock lobster fishers to sell up to 100 lobsters per landing to the public, local restaurants and fresh fish retailers to offset the loss of export markets due to COVID-19.
Due to success of the program, industry requested to increase the number of lobsters permitted to be sold from the back of the boat.
Industry, local councils and consumers are getting behind the program, particularly in Lancelin and at Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour, where events are being held to connect to fishers and the community encouraging the sale of fresh local lobster.
More than 6,000 lobsters have been sold via back of boat sales since the change came into effect in September. The majority of rock lobsters have been sold at Lancelin followed by Fremantle.
If you need some inspiration for you Christmas menu, visit the Buy West Eat Best program website https://www.buywesteatbest.org.au for some great seafood recipes and a list of all seafood businesses across the State who are part of the buy local program.
As stated by Fisheries Minister Peter Tinley:
“It is great to see the public and hospitality industry getting out and supporting our commercial industry by embracing the opportunity to buy freshly caught rock lobster directly from the fishers.
“After consulting with industry, the temporary increase to allow increased back of boat sales over the peak holiday and summer period will provide further support to industry recovery and will not impact of the future sustainability of the fishery.
“This is a great time of the year to celebrate our State’s world-class seafood. There is so much variety on offer including pink snapper, Mandurah’s blue swimmer crabs, Abrolhos Island scallops, Cone Bay barramundi, red emperor, octopus, King George whiting, wild caught prawns from Shark Bay and Exmouth and Albany’s famous oysters.
“More than 90 per cent of Western Australia’s fishery value now comes from MSC certified suppliers along the WA coast, so when buying your seafood keep an eye out for the big blue tick that guarantees you are buying high quality seafood that has been sustainability managed.”