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Lobster information misleading
Lobster information misleading

An article in the South Western Times on November 22 titled Anticipation as Jumbo Hunt Starts contained some incorrect information.

The Department of Fisheries expressed concern that the article was misleading readers over the reason for the relaxation of the some of the recreational rock lobster fishing rules.

The article creates the impression that there has been a significant recovery in lobster stocks and that this is the reason behind the bag limit increase.

This is not the case. The changes to recreational rules are to increase the recreational fishing sector's capacity to take its catch allocation, not because the sustainable take has been increased.

The department also disagrees with the statement that "the decision to raise the bag limits and the number of licences was made based on the recruitment densities of the crayfish larvae a few years ago".

A department spokesman said this was incorrect.

The juvenile lobster recruitment was actually the lowest on record 2-3 years ago. The reason for the changes to the rules this year is that the Minister wanted to provide the opportunity for recreational rock lobster fishers to catch closer to their allocation of 5% of the Total rock lobster catch, under the principles of Integrated Fisheries Management.

Currently the recreational rock lobster fishers take is around 2.6% of the total lobster catch.

In the article, the ban on demersal scale fin fish was listed as October 15 to November 15.

This was incorrect. The ban extends from October 15 to December 15.