In Agriculture

South Australia Minister for Primary Industries David Basham

Recreational Rock Lobster Southern Zone Season Opens

Victor P Taffa

Recreational rock lobster fishing is back on the menu today with the Southern Zone season reopening.

Season opening comes as two Victorian men and a Mt. Gambier man have been fined more than $17,000 and each had a conviction recorded against their names for flouting rock lobster fishing rules.

In December 2019, fishermen Raymond Tang (of Noble Park), Eric Nguyen (of Narre Warren) and Luc Lam (of Mt. Gambier) were caught on a boat near Port MacDonnell with 17 illegally caught rock lobster eight of which were undersize.

Men were not allowed to fish for rock lobster as their pots were not registered with the Department of Primary Industries and Regions as is legally required.

Trio were convicted on a range of offences and ordered to pay fines, levies and prosecution costs totalling $5,799 each.

In addition, Lam, who was the operator of the boat, was convicted for breaching the Harbors and Navigation Regulations as the vessel did not have operational navigation lights when returning to port in darkness.

All three men were banned from rock lobster fishing or being in possession of rock lobster for three years (unless purchased from a fish processor).

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham said this is a timely reassurance for recreational fishers that fishers doing the wrong thing will be caught.

“South Australia is one of the few states that allows the use of recreational rock lobster pots and I know recreational fishers value the ability to experience the premium catch.” Minister Basham said.

“It’s important for all fishers to be responsible and do the right thing to ensure the long-term sustainability of our fish stocks for future generations to enjoy.”

“With the season opening, if you see someone doing the wrong thing, please contact Fishwatch by 1800 065 522 or via the SA Recreational Fishing Guide app.” Minister Basham said.

Southern Zone Rock Lobster fishing rules at a glance:

  • Minimum carapace length – 9.85 cm (Southern Zone only)
  • Daily individual bag limit – 4 (per person, per day)
  • Daily boat limit – 8 (if more than one person is on board)
  • Berried Rock Lobster (females carrying eggs) are protected and must be returned to the water immediately
  • Recreational fishers must clip the middle tail fan horizontally in half before landing.

All rock lobster pots must be registered before use, with a maximum of two pots per person.

They can only be operated and checked by the registered person. If you are caught using or interfering with pots not registered in your name, penalties of up to $20,000 can apply.

Southern Zone Rock Lobster season, which covers waters from the Murray Mouth to the Victorian border, runs until Monday 31 May 2021.

Northern Zone Rock Lobster season will reopen at midday on Sunday 1 November 2020.

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