Rock Lobster Fishery

​​​​​​​​Current season Total Allowable Catch (TAC)

TAC
​2022/23 TAC (tonnes)
​​2022/23 TAC kgs/unit
​Total Allowable Commercial Catch
​1050.7 tonnes
​100 kgs/unit
​Total Allowable Recreational Catch 
170 tonnes​​-  
​Total Allowable Catch
​1220.7 tonnes
​- 


​Catch Caps


​East Coast Catch Cap
​94 tonnes
​-
North East Catch Cap
100 tonnes
​-


Over​​view

The rock lobster fishery primarily targets southern rock lobster (Jasus edwardsii), and small amounts of eastern rock lobster (Jasus verreauxi) (less than 1% of the fishery). Southern rock lobster is an important commercial fishery as well as being highly valued by recreational and Aboriginal fishers. 

Commercial fishers use baited pots to harvest lobster all around Tasmania, including in waters surrounding major islands. Most of the commercial catch comes from the western half of the state, with fishers frequently facing rough weather and poor conditions to land their catch. The commercial fleet also harvest rock lobster from the East Coast, which is also an important area for the recreational fishery. 

Managing the fishery 

The rock lobster fishery is managed under the Living Marine Resources Management Act 1995​ and Fisheries (Rock Lobster) Rules 2011.

A number of controls ensure the sustainable management of lobster resources, as well as the industry's ongoing viability. These arrangements include limited entry (312 licences), restricted seasons, gear restrictions and requirements, a total allowable catch (TAC); individual transferable quota units (ITQs) (10,507 units), minimum size limits and a comprehensive monitoring regime that requires documentation and real-time reporting. Catch limits are also in place for recreational fishers.


​Total allowable catch and catch updates

Each year, the rock lobster total allowable catch (TAC) is set for the next quota year which runs from 1 March to 28/29 February each year. A portion of the TAC is allocated to the commercial sector, known as the total allowable commercial catch (TACC). The TACC is split equally amongst the 10,507 quota units issued in the fishery. To determine the value of each quota unit, the yearly TACC is divided by 10,507. As the TACC changes, the value of the quota units are amended. 

In addition to the statewi​de TACC, there are also competitive catch caps for the East Coast and North East areas of the Fishery. 

Go to the Rock Lobster Catch page for the monthly catch update on the amount of rock lobster harvested by commercial fishermen statewide and in East Coast Catch Cap area and North East Catch Cap area​.


Area closures

There are some waters where rock lobster fishing cannot take place at any time, including marine reserves (State and Commonwealth), research areas and no potting areas. These are listed below with links provided to maps. 

Rock Lobster No Pot Areas

Rock Lobster Closed Areas

In Tasmania, generally rock lobster fishing is prohibited in the seven Marine Nature Reserves, however, some marine reserves have areas where restricted recreational and commercial fishing is allowed. 

Go to the Marine Reserve page for more information about Marine Nature Reserves and Commonwealth Marine Parks. 

Fisheries research areas may have restrictions that prohibit rock lobster fishing. Go to the Fisheries Research Areas page for more information. 

The use of rock lobster pots is prohibited in some areas, however recreational use of rock lobster rings and diving is allowed. Go to the Rock Lobster Area Management​ page for more information. 

Also see information on Biotoxin Closures and Seasonal Rock Lobster Closures

More Information

​Commercial Rock Lobster Season​

Rock Lobster Catch Reporting 

East Coast Stock Rebuilding Strategy

​Fishery Stock Assessment 

Recreational ​Rock Lobster Research ​​

Crustacean Fishery Advisory Committee

Contact

Wild Fisheries Management Branch
Level 3, 134 Macquarie Street
GPO Box 44
Hobart TAS 7001
Phone: 03 6165 3000
Email: commercial.fisheries@nre.tas.gov.au