SA Marine Parks: Commercial Fisheries Voluntary Catch/Effort Reduction Program
Offers now invited for licence holders to surrender licence and/or entitlements.
Find out more

Snapper spawning spatial closures
New Snapper spawning spatial closures will come into effect on 15 December 2013.
View media release
Map of closures
Frequently asked questions

Changes to commercial and recreational Blue Swimmer Crab fishing limits
View media release

Frequently asked questions
Map of reduction area

Spencer Gulf Cuttlefish closure
Cuttlefish fishing in northern Spencer Gulf has been closed until 27 March 2014.
Find out more

Frequently asked questions
Map of closure area

Port River Mud Cockle closure
The Port River Mud Cockle fishing closure has been extended until 30 June 2013 due to ongoing concerns about sustainability.
Map of closure area

Frequently asked questions.

Rock Lobster Fishery

The South Australian Rock Lobster Fishery is primarily based on the capture of southern rock lobster, Jasus edwardsii. Other species are permitted to be taken including the Maori octopus (Octopus maorum) and the giant crab (Pseudocarcinus gigas).

Rock Lobster licence holders can also access marine scalefish species, although the level of access may vary depending on the level nominated by the licence holder.

The Rock Lobster Fishery is an important commercial fishery in South Australia, with a significant impact on regional South Australia, operating out of a large number of ports along the coastline. The Fishery contributes significantly to the state economy and is one of the largest commercial fisheries in South Australia based on Gross Value of Product.

The Fishery is also an important recreational fishery, contributing to the overall wellbeing of many South Australians. As well, the recreational community contributes significantly to State and regional economies through tourism, purchase of fishing equipment, vessels and supplies.

Lobsters are caught using pots that are set overnight, but may be set for longer. Most pots are steel-framed and covered with wire mesh that incorporates a moulded plastic neck.

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Rock Lobster Fishery zones

The South Australian rock lobster fishery is separated into two fishing zones (the Southern and Northern Zones) in recognition of the significant differences in the biological, geological and ecological characteristics.

The Southern Zone Rock Lobster Fishery (SZRLF) includes all South Australian waters between the mouth of the Murray River and the Victorian border.

The Northern Zone Rock Lobster Fishery (NZRLF) includes all South Australian marine waters between the mouth of the Murray River and the Western Australian border.

Rock Lobster Fishery licensing

There are currently no new licences available for commercial fishing in the Northern Zone or Southern Zone Rock Lobster Fishery.

Licence expiry

Southern Zone Rock Lobster Fishery licences are issued for the term of the management plan. Northern Zone Rock Lobster Fishery licences expire on 30 June every year until the new management plan is implemented at which time licences will be issued for the duration of the management plan.

Licence fees

Commercial licence fees must be paid each financial year. Invoices are issued annually in early June.

Licence transfer

It is possible to transfer a licence from one person to another. More details about licence transfers are available on the form below.

Application to transfer a Southern Zone Rock Lobster Fishery licence (PDF 402.9 KB)

Application to transfer a Northern Zone Rock Lobster Fishery licence (PDF 406.8 KB)

Boat registration/de-registration

Any boat that is used for commercial fishing needs to be registered.

Application to vary a boat registration endorsement form (PDF 177.5 KB) to register or de-register a boat.

Registration of a master/s

The licence holder must register and have endorsed on their licence all persons who will act as master of the boat to be used for commercial fishing purposes.

Application to change registration of a master (PDF 289.7 KB)

Fishery quota transfer

Licence holders can negotiate to transfer their quota entitlements to another licence holder. This can be done on a temporary or permanent basis. More details about quota transfers are available on the form below.

Northern zone rock lobster quota and pot transfer (PDF 241.1 KB)

Southern zone rock lobster quota and pot transfer (PDF 292.3 KB)

Vessel Monitoring Scheme

Northern Zone Rock Lobster Fishery licence holders are required to have an approved vessel monitoring system (VMS) fitted to their boat.

More information about the Vessel Monitoring Scheme.

Rock Lobster Fishery management

Management plan

The management plan for the Northern Zone Rock Lobster Fishery (PDF 1.2 MB) published September 2007.

The management plan for the Southern Zone Rock Lobster Fishery (PDF 1.9 MB) published September 2007.

The Fisheries Management Act 2007 requires management plans to include risk assessment of impacts or potential impacts of the fishery on relevant ecosystems. A process for identifying these risks is identified in the Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD) Risk Assessment of Rock Lobster Fishery April 2011 (PDF 627.8 KB)

Management arrangements for the Giant Crab Fishery (PDF 308.8 KB)

Management plan for MSF (PDF 2.1 MB)

Stock status reports

SARDI Aquatic Sciences produce an annual stock status report for the Northern and Southern Zone Rock Lobster Fisheries based on catch and effort information received from licence holders.

Southern Zone Rock Lobster Fishery Assessment report 2011-12 (PDF 3.5 MB)

Northern Zone Rock Lobster Fishery Assessment report 2011-12 (PDF 2.1 MB)

Stock assessment reports

SARDI Aquatic Sciences also produce stock assessment reports for key species within the Northern and Southern Zone Rock Lobster Fisheries. The latest stock assessment reports can be found here:

Southern Zone Rock Lobster Fishery Assessment report 2011-12 (PDF 4.1 MB)

Northern Zone Rock Lobster Fishery Assessment report 2011-12 (PDF 3.3 MB)

Economic Indicator reports

Primary Industries and Regions South Australia (PIRSA) Fisheries and Aquaculture commission Econsearch Pty Ltd to prepare detailed economic indicator reports for each of their commercial fisheries.

Reports for all South Australian commercial fisheries can be found on the Econsearch webpage.

Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPAC) export approval

The Commonwealth Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities requires that all commercial fisheries that export product be assessed under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Product from the South Australian Rock Lobster Fishery is currently approved for export.

For more information, go to the South Australian fisheries page on the DSEWPAC website.

Rock Lobster Fishing Industry Fund

A Rock Lobster Fishing Industry Fund has been established to help support the rock lobster fishing industry.

Rock Lobster Fishery rules and closures

Closed areas

There are some areas that are restricted for fishing because the area is closed seasonally or permanently or because an area is an aquatic reserve or marine park.

Read more about closed fishing areas.

Rules and regulations

Fishing activities in the Rock Lobster Fishery are regulated under the Fisheries Management (Rock Lobster Fisheries) Regulations 2006 and the Fisheries Management (General) Regulations 2007.

Rock Lobster Fishery contacts

Fishery Manager: Annabel Jones
Phone: 08 82262962
Email: Annabel.jones@sa.gov.au

South Australian Rock Lobster Advisory Council
Executive Officer, Justin Phillips
Phone: (08) 8132 0257
Fax: (08) 8132 0161
Mobile: 0400 281 904
Email: justin@jp-consulting.com.au

South Eastern Professional Fishermenís Association Inc
Executive Officer, Justin Phillips
Phone: (08) 8132 0257
Fax: (08) 8132 0161
Mobile: 0400 281 904
Email: justin@jp-consulting.com.au

South Australian Northern Zone Rock Lobster Fishermenís Association Inc
Executive Officer: Kyriakos Toumazos
Mobile: 0402 466 758
Email:kyri.toumazos@hotmail.com