Measuring, Marking and Sexing Rock Lobster


The length of the rock lobster's carapace (shell) is used to measure its size. To measure a rock lobster:
  • Measure the carapace length with an accurate ruler.
  • Place the tip of the measure between the antennal horns so that it fits hard into the middle notch.
  • If the other end of the measure reaches beyond the rear edge of the carapace, then the rock lobster is not legal size.
  • Male rock lobster must be at least 110 mm and female rock lobster at least 105 mm.
  • If the rock lobster is not of legal size, it must be returned gently to the water immediately in the area from which it was taken.
If you are taking rock lobster close to minimum size, be sure your measuring device is accurate.


Marking LobsterRock lobster taken recreationally must be marked as follows:
  • The central flap of the tail fan should be cut clear away with a cut just behind the fleshy portion. You may find it easier to use scissors rather than a knife. Alternatively, you can punch a clear 10 mm hole in the central tail flap.
  • If you are fishing from a boat, the tail fan should be marked within 5 minutes of the lobster being brought to the boat and before landing to shore.
  • If you are fishing from the shore, lobster should be marked within 5 minutes of landing and within 50 metres of the place where you are fishing.


Females: have large swimmerets under the tail with a slender rod (which holds the eggs) under each swimmeret. A small nipper claw is present on the ends of the rear legs.

Males: have small swimmerets under the tail and no rods or nipper claws on the rear legs.
Female and male rock lobster tails


Recreational Fishing Enquiries
Recreational Fisheries Section
1 Franklin Wharf
Hobart TAS 7001
Phone: 03 6165 3233, 1300 720 647

Back Home