Hon Don Punch BPsych BSocwk MBA MLA

Hon Don Punch BPsych BSocwk MBA MLA

Minister for Disability Services; Fisheries; Seniors and Ageing; Small Business

    Changes to support recovery of WA’s western rock lobster fishery

    14/05/2021 6:00 AM
    • Further steps to help commercial lobster fishers adapt to changing market access
    • New relief mechanisms include another 18-month season, the continuation of back of boat sales and access fee instalments

    The ongoing closure of the China market to many Australian imports continues to impact our State's Western Rock Lobster industry and new measures will come into force on Saturday to provide further support to fishers.


    Fisheries Minister Don Punch has agreed to a package of measures developed in consultation with Western Rock Lobster Council that will extend the new commercial fishing season for lobster to begin at the start of July and run for over 18 months.


    This is the second time the McGowan Government has provided the extended season option to fishers and the total allowable commercial catch will again remain at 9,000 tonnes, with access fees payable through a more flexible instalment plan.


    Historically the commercial lobster seasons have run for 12 months, beginning on January 15 every year, but with current market conditions lobster fishers have sought and been granted greater flexibility to run their businesses.


    The continuation of the option to conduct back of the boat sales will allow commercial operators to make the most of a very popular way to sell their catch and provide consumers access to the freshest local lobster available.


    Comments attributed to Fisheries Minister Don Punch:


    "Continuing to allow access fees to be paid in instalments across another extended 18 month season will provide important fee relief to lobster fishers as they continue to work through dramatically different market conditions.


    "The season extension provides fishers with more time to land their catch and develop supply chains into alternative markets, thereby minimising the economic impact on fishers.


    "Back of the boat sales will continue to play their part in enabling direct support from the public to the lobster industry, making it easier for licensed fishers to sell lobsters to the local community, restaurants and seafood wholesale and retail outlets."


    Minister's office - 6552 6900