WA Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly has announced plans to grow the Western Australian lobster industry, with the potential to create 500 WA jobs and grow the economy. About eight species of rock lobster live in WA waters but the most abundant by far is the western rock lobster, with most living between Perth and Geraldton.
"Benefits will include the opportunity to create hundreds of new jobs in regional communities, improve lobster supply and provide a greater economic benefit to all Western Australians. " said Mr Kelly. "While exploring these plans, we are committed to the sustainable management of our world-class lobster fishery, growing its value, and ensuring the future economic contribution of this natural resource."
The seafood industry is about more than just fishing – it can offer you a career in sea operations and scientific research to name just a couple. If you're considering a career in this kind of industry, use our Jobs and Skills WA course search to look at courses in areas such as maritime, science and the environment.
In 2000, WA's West Coast Rock Lobster Fishery was the first in the world to be certified as ecologically sustainable by the international Marine Stewardship Council. Since then, the fishery has been successfully recertified three times with the last assessment in 2017, and recent scientific studies have confirmed the WA resource is once again in a healthy state.
Overall, the western rock lobster industry's economic contribution of more than $500 million is comparable to the State's other major primary industries, including wool, sheep meat and milk.
The State Government has now begun consulting with the peak industry body, Western Rock Lobster, and other stakeholders to explore options to grow the fishery, including increasing the supply of lobsters for Western Australian families and tourists.
Another initiative being considered is the establishment of an annual western rock lobster festival, which would provide locals and tourists alike with the opportunity to purchase lobsters and taste this delicious seafood. Discussions will also include other initiatives that may benefit the industry, such as establishing a spiny lobster research institute.