The Australian lobster industry is in crisis and a group of Tasmanian lobstermen are calling for a nationwide moratorium on lobsters being released to the market.
A group of lobstermen on a research trip to Tasmania, the Australian lobsters industry and other industries, said it was in crisis.
The Tasmanian Lobstermen’s Association said it had contacted the Australian and Tasmanian governments about the issue, which was discussed in the meeting on Friday.
The group’s president, Peter Mowbray, said the Tasmanian Government had a responsibility to protect the lobster industry and said it needed to take a closer look at the way it releases lobster to markets.
He said it could not release lobsters to markets without an industry licence.
“They don’t need to get a licence.
They should have a licence and then they can operate under that licence,” Mr Mowbs said.”
We want to get that licence so we can keep lobsters out of the market and not release them to the markets.”
It’s the way to do it, but it’s a really difficult thing to get it.
“So we’ve written to the Tasmanians Minister and asked her to do what’s right for Tasmania.”
Tasmania has the largest lobster population in Australia.
A spokesman for the Department of Environment said Tasmania’s lobster population was not in a crisis.
“Tasmanians have the largest and best-managed lobster population, with over 300 million lobsters.
They are protected by the Australian Antarctic Territory Fisheries Management Act,” the spokesman said.
Tasboran Premier Tim Nicholls said he was not aware of the group’s request to the Minister.
“I haven’t had a meeting with the Tasmanies Department of Environmental Protection.
The Tasmanian Fisheries Management Agency and the Tasman Lobster Commission have made clear their view is that they would welcome a comprehensive national moratorium on releasing lobsters into the market,” Mr Nicholls’ spokesman said in a statement.”
The Tasmanians lobster industry has proven itself to be resilient in the face of environmental pressures.
The government remains committed to protecting Tasmania’s natural and cultural resources, including its unique lobster population.”
Lobster market ‘shaky’A Tasmanian Department of Fisheries spokesman said the industry was “shaky” with the numbers of lobsters released.
“Unfortunately, the numbers released into the Tasman market continue to be low, with the latest estimate of 2.5 million being released into Tasmania from March to May,” the department’s Tasmanian fisheries chief Steve Tarrant said in an email.
“In the past, we have seen a reduction in the number of lobster caught, but we are continuing to receive reports of poor quality lobsters.”
Mr Tarrants department has made a number of recommendations in the past to tackle the problem, including encouraging a better communication and support system for lobster fishers.
“While there is a lot of work to do to improve communication between the Tasman and the Australian lobster fishing industry, we are encouraged by the recent work undertaken by the Tasman Institute and the University of Tasmania on the issue of lobster release in Tasmania,” Mr Tarrancies department said in its statement.