The world-famous Rock Lobster in Western Australia is certainly a delicacy. What could be better than dipping a perfectly cooked piece into a tasty garlic butter sauce? How about indulging in the freshest catch of the day, wrangled from the ocean all on your own or with a friend or family member?
The good news is that just about anyone with the time and patience (and desire, naturally) can go fishing for Western Rock Lobster. As always, there are some rules and regulations that you must keep in mind. Here’s how you can go fishing for lobster recreationally in WA:
Get a Licence – It’s the Law
First things first, to go lobster fishing in WA, you must have a licence. Requesting a licence isn’t too difficult and can be done through the Fisheries website. You may have to present it upon request to a DPIRD Fisheries and Marine Officer. They do check!
Where and When to Fish for Lobster
Within the state of Western Australia, licenced fishing of lobster is permissible every day of the year, regardless of the season. Lobster fishing is not permitted after dark anywhere south of the North West Cape.
Fishing Limits for Lobster
It’s important to keep in mind that recreational lobster fishing is supposed to be, well, recreational and not commercial. To sustain the ecosystem of our beloved Rock Lobsters, there are hard limits on the number of lobsters that can be fished or in your possession.
The maximum permissible number of Rock Lobsters that can be fished by one licenced fisher is 8 lobsters per day. If there are two or three licenced fishers aboard your vessel, the number respectively increases to 16 or 24. No more than half of all lobsters are allowed to be Tropical Rock Lobsters, so 4, 8, or 12 for one, two, or three fishers.
Furthermore, there is a hard limit on the number of whole Rock Lobsters (and they must be kept whole unless at your place of residence) permitted to be in your possession. You are only permitted to possess 24 whole Rock Lobsters at any given time.
Knowing Your Lobster Types
There are different species of Rock Lobster, each unique from the other. They include:
- Southern Rock Lobster, which has a single spine running between the eyes; the minimum length for fishing is 98.5mm.
- Western Rock Lobster, which has white dots along the outer edges of the tail; the minimum length for fishing is 76mm.
- Tropical Rock Lobster, which is either ornately coloured or a painted blue-green colour; the minimum length for fishing is 76mm.
How to Fish for Lobster
The two main methods of recreationally fishing for lobster are either diving or using lobster traps (pots). Diving for lobster can be exciting, but it’s important that you only catch the lobsters by hand, with a blunt crook, or using a hand-held snare. Using any other object such as nets or spears is illegal.
For most fishermen, lobster pots are the preferred method. Licenced fishers are permitted to have up to two lobster pots submerged at any time. The exact specifications for lobster pots are outlined in greater detail here.
Indulge in the finest Western Rock Lobster at Lobster Shack
If fishing for lobster recreationally sounds like too much effort (and we won’t judge), why not leave it up to the experts at Lobster Shack? Considering this beloved seafood restaurant was founded by the Thompsons, a family of crayfishermen, you can trust our team to get the finest and freshest catch of the day. Indulge in the Western Rock Lobster served in a variety of delicious ways by booking your reservation at Lobster Shack today!