Chinese Rock Lobster Market Hits A Snag

Chinese Rock Lobster Market Hits A Snag

Western Australia Minister for Fisheries Norman Moore

Rock Lobster Quota System Gives Greater Flexibility To Lobster Exporters As Chinese Market Closes

Victor P Taffa

Fisheries Minister Norman Moore has been advised restrictions imposed by the Chinese Government on Western Australian rock lobster being imported into China is forcing the Beach Price Down.

“Lobster Fishers need to be mindful of likely lower returns while the situation continues and make their own business decisions on whether they fish or not.”

“WA is the largest exporter of rock lobster from Australia to China. At the start of the season it was expected that up to 60 % of this year’s total allowable catch of 5,500 tonnes would be exported live to China.”

The Minister said the State Government had introduced a quota system which would help the market respond to fluctuations in demand and price.


In previous seasons fishermen would be forced to continue to race to catch fish no matter how much the price fell.

“Under quota, as prices drop, there is an incentive to leave lobsters in the water, allowing them to be caught later in the year, there is around nine months of the commercial season left so fishers are now in a position to wait and watch the market.” Mr. Moore said.

“Alternative markets do exist, such as Japan, Taiwan, the United States and parts of Europe.”

“Some markets are price sensitive and may take more lobsters as prices fall. While they may be less lucrative, they provide options for our exported lobsters.” Mr. Moore said.

The State Government remains hopeful the situation in China will be resolved soon.