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Lobster Industry gets Boost

by Ellen Hardy
01 July 2008, at 1:00am

AUSTRALIA - The commercial lobster industry can catch extra lobsters this coming year, thanks to its strong performing fishery, NSW Department of Primary Industries has announced.

"Our lobster fishery is performing extremely well, with increasing numbers of lobster available for harvest, good market prices and strong prices for lobster shares," Executive Director Fisheries, Compliance and Regional Relations, Doug Hocking said.

"We have raised the total allowable catch for the lobster fishery from 124 tonnes to 128 tonnes for the 2008/09 season.

"This is the third consecutive year that the total allowable commercial catch has been increased, thanks to the successful management of the lobster fishery by its fishers and the NSW Department of Primary Industries.

"The lobster industry is an important part of coastal communities, and contributed more than $4.5 million to the NSW economy last year. It is based around the east Australian spiny rock lobster - the largest spiny lobster in the world."

Mr Hocking said the NSW quota management system and arrangements for setting the Total Allowable Commercial Catch is an effective way to monitor and manage fisheries like the lobster fishery to ensure they remain strong, profitable and sustainable.

"We are committed to protecting the State’s natural resources," Mr Hocking said.

"The Total Allowable Catch Committee is made up of independent experts and includes one of the world’s leading fisheries scientists.

"The committee has expertise in science, fisheries management and economics and uses the latest research to guide decision-making.

"It’s a science-based approach designed to protect the sustainability of our fisheries and the results prove it is working.

"Our latest research has shown there is a general increase of lobsters across a wide a range of sizes in the fishery.

"This is great news for the future of lobster fishing in NSW."

Ellen Hardy