East Coast Rock Lobster Stock Rebuilding Strategy

Rock Lobster Season Opening Dates for the ECSRZ

For 2019 season opening dates for the East Coast Stock Rebuilding Zone see: 


What is the East Coast Stock Rebuilding Strategy?

The East Coast Stock Rebuilding Strategy aims to rebuild rock lobster stocks to greater than 20% of an unfished stock by limiting the amount of lobsters harvested each year from the area.

East Coast Stock Rebuilding Zone Map

The East Coast Stock Rebuilding Zone (ECSRZ) is the area between Eddystone Point and Tasman Head on Bruny Island.

The East Coast Rock Lobster Stock Rebuilding Zone is the area between Eddystone Point near St Helens and Tasman Head on Bruny Island.

Summary of the Strategy

The Problem

Rock lobster stocks on the East Coast reached historically low levels during 2011-12.  In response, a strategy to rebuild stocks in this area was developed.

What is the Goal?

Rebuild rock lobster stocks to greater than 20% of the unfished stock (or virgin biomass) by 2023.

What is the Strategy?

Leave more rock lobster in the water to rebuild by limiting the total catch each year between Eddystone Point and Tasman Head.  This area is called the East Coast Stock Rebuilding Zone (ECSRZ).

What are the benefits for recreational fishers?

Higher stock levels will mean better catch rates for fishers.  More rock lobster will help limit numbers of long-spined sea urchins in healthy kelp beds and reduce the risk of barrens forming.

How is the recreational catch limited?

To reduce the recreational catch, bag limits and seasons have been decreased.  Surveys of licensed fishers in the Eastern Region monitor the total recreational catch each year.  

How is the commercial catch limited?

A catch cap or maximum commercial catch trigger is set for the East Coast each year.  When the catch approaches the trigger, the commercial fishery in the ECSRZ closes until the following March.

How do we know if the Strategy is working?

IMAS report the biomass for each stock assessment area in annual stock assessments so the progress towards achieving the 20% goal can be monitored.  To keep the strategy on track, further management changes may be introduced.


Read the Strategy Document

An initial strategy document detailing goals, regional management initiatives and monitoring was released in 2013, then updated in 2017.

  East Coast Stock Rebuilding Strategy - September 2018   (2Mb)


Further information

For related rock lobster catch and research information including recent recreational catch estimates and an information paper on catch tags for the Tasmanian recreational fishery go to: Recreational Rock Lobster Research.

Contact

Wild Fisheries Management Branch
1 Franklin Wharf
GPO Box 44
Hobart TAS 7001
Phone: 03 6165 3000, 1300 368 550
Email: fishing.enquiries@dpipwe.tas.gov.au

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