NOTE: New rock lobster rules came into effect from 1 November 2019. See the
rock lobster review page.
crayfish, cray, spinylobster
Scientific name:Jasus edwardsii
Rock lobster pot, ring or dive licence
required. You must be 10 years or older to hold a rock lobster licence.
Recreational Fishing Seasons.
You may only possess a rock lobster pot on state waters from 6am the day before the season opens and only set a pot after 1pm on the same day. Pots may then be pulled after midnight.
North West Zone
- male 110mm, female 120mm;
- male 110mm, female 105mm
Eastern Region 2, Western Region 5, Northern Bass Strait 2 (above 39°33’). These limits apply to all rock lobster species combined.
Possession limit: Eastern Region - 4, Western Region - 10, Northern Bass Strait - 4 (above 39°33’). Special rock lobster licence holders (Western Region only) -15 rock lobster for a 14 day period.
- A possession limit of 10 applies on mainland Tasmania, islands in the Western Region and on Flinders, Cape Barren and Bruny Islands including homes, shacks and vehicles.
- Eastern Region possession limits apply within 100 metres of unloading any rock lobster, except where the fisher’s shack or home is within the 100 metres.
- Non-licensed possession limit - 2 rock lobster.
- Children under 10 cannot possess rock lobster.
- These limits apply to all rock lobster species combined.
Eastern Region 10, Western Region 25, Northern Bass Strait 10.
Boat gear limit:
5 rock lobster pots and 20 rock lobster rings.
Rock Lobster Rules
about measuring, marking and sexing rock lobster
and marking your gear. The rules apply to both southern and eastern (green) rock lobster.
Catch limits apply in
Rock Lobster Regions
(Eastern, Western and Northern Bass Strait).
These large, spiny crustaceans are orange-red in colour with a rough textured shell, being darker red in shallower waters to almost white in very deep waters. Their features include a tough carapace, long antennae, eyes on moving stalks, six small limbs around the mouth, five pairs of walking legs and a segmented tail ending in a fan with swimmerets underneath.
220 mm in carapace length and 5 kg.
Found around Tasmania near rocky reefs and in crevices from close inshore out to 200 metres depth. After hatching, the young larvae undergo several complicated life stages for between 9-24 months.
Rock lobster are highly sought after by recreational fishers who use pots and rings and also dive to catch this species. Popular baits used include fish heads and frames and occasionally raw meats. They are opportunistic carnivores consuming species such as mussels, abalone, sea urchins, crabs and worms. Predators of rock lobster include octopus, sharks and fish species such as wrasse, ling and cod.
Responsible fishing tips:
Rock lobsters are fragile so handle carefully, particularly when they have eggs attached or have recently moulted. Sort your catch quickly as they can die if left exposed to warm, dry air. Release them gently over the reef where they were caught. If you catch a tagged lobster, please record the tag details and report to the
Institute for Marine and Antarctic Research
Be careful when handling rock lobsters as they have sharp spines around the base of their antennae.
Public Health advice:
Follow any public health alerts relating to eating wild shellfish - refer to the
Department of Health and Human Services
phone their hotline on 1800 671 738.
Rock lobster has firm, white meat with a rich medium flavour. It has a low oil content and is suitable to simmer, steam, grill or barbeque.Illustration by Peter Gouldthorpe