Commercial fishers can help contribute important data about the Tasmanian rock lobster fishery by participating in the Research Pot Program, which plays a vital role in sustainably managing the fishery.
Commercial pots are designed with escape hatches to allow undersize individuals to escape, which prevents us from gathering a broader range of size data.
However, the Research Pot Program, a collaboration between IMAS with DPIPWE, allows commercial fishers to carry two extra pots with closed escape hatches to help catch different sized lobster.
Fishers record and measure all lobsters captured by these two pots and can keep all legal-size lobsters caught. This gives us a range of size data that, along with information collected during annual IMAS research trips around Tasmania, allows us to carry out stock assessments and help set a total allowable catch (TAC).
An added benefit is that the data fishers collect comes from all around Tasmania and over the entire quota year, so researchers can better understand the spatial and temporal variations of lobster size.
To better achieve this, a program revamp for the 2021/22 season is aiming to gather more participation around Tasmania, helping us generate greater statewide data.
The refresh, which comes with some added perks, has already seen a number of fishers sign up for the 2021/22 season - but we still need more to take part. Find out more about the program, and those perks, here.
Fishers interesting in participating in the program can talk to James Parkinson at DPIPWE on 0457 005 376 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interested in this project?