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Improving marketability through translocation: a lobster case study from southern Australia

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-17, 07:19 authored by Chandrapavan, A, Caleb GardnerCaleb Gardner, Bridget GreenBridget Green, Linnane, A, Hobday, D
Translocation as a method to increase the value of less-marketable, deep-water southern rock lobster Jasus edwardsii was explored. First, variation in the commercially important shell colouration and body shape between deep- and shallow-water Tasmanian populations and among South Australian and Victorian populations was quantified. Deep-water J. edwardsii were pale in colour, with longer walking legs but less meat content than shallow-water, red-coloured J. edwardsii. Traits in body shape were variable among deep-water populations across the three states and between sexes in each population. Deep-water lobsters were then translocated to a shallowwater inshore reef to determine whether the observed variation in traits was plastic and whether translocation could be used to improve the quality of deep-water lobsters. Translocated lobsters were then monitored over a 14-month post-release period, and during this time, they changed from a pale/white colour to the more marketable red colour within a single moult. Plasticity was observed in tail morphology, but not in leg morphology. The translocation experiment was successful in transforming pale/white deep-water lobsters into red lobsters with higher market value in a phenotypic response to habitat manipulation. Translocation appears to have commercial application for exploiting natural plasticity in the market traits of lobsters to increase price.


Publication title

I C E S Journal of Marine Science: (International Council for The Exploration of The Sea)










Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Academic Press Ltd Elsevier Science Ltd

Place of publication

24-28 Oval Rd, London, England, Nw1 7Dx

Rights statement

Copyright © 2011 International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available online at:

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Socio-economic Objectives

Wild caught prawns

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