University of Tasmania
RockLobster_2009.C Gardner pdf.pdf (1.58 MB)

Tasmanian Rock Lobster Fishery 2008/09

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posted on 2023-05-25, 17:47 authored by Caleb GardnerCaleb Gardner, Philippe ZieglerPhilippe Ziegler

The Tasmanian rock lobster stock declined sharply in 2008/09 due to the impact of prolonged low recruitment. This low recruitment to the fishery is exceptional and has traits unlike any downturn seen previously over the period of four decades from 1970 to 2009.

The Tasmanian rock lobster stock increased substantially in the period from 1998 to 2006 which was attributed to the constraint of total catch under ITQ management. It is now apparent that extreme trends in recruitment contributed to this growth, and also to the decline in stock that has occurred since 2006.

Very high settlement detected in puerulus collector sites in 1995 led to high recruitment into the fishery after QMS was introduced. This affected catches first in the faster growth northern areas then later in the south. Constraint in catch under input controls meant that this recruitment pulse led to good catch rates for several years.

Recruitment over more recent years has been exceptionally low and this has led to decline in stocks over the last three years. The decline in recruitment to the fishery is more severe than other low periods in the data series from 1970 because: (i) recruitment is at or near record lows in most areas; (ii) declines have occurred simultaneously in all areas (declines in one area are more typically balanced by a pulse somewhere else); and (iii) the duration of low recruitment has been more protracted than previously.


Publication title

Fishery Assessment Report

Commissioning body

Tasmanian Aquaculture and Fisheries Institute






Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Tasmanian Aquaculture and Fisheries Institute

Place of publication

Hobart, Tasmania

Rights statement

Copyright 2010 Tasmanian Aquaculture and Fisheries Institute, Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania.

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Wild caught rock lobster

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