Wild Shellfish Alert - Do not eat wild shellfish from areas in and around Spring Bay and the Mercury Passage in South East Tasmania.
Most scalefish are measured from the nose to the end of the tail. Get your scalefish measuring ruler or sticker at any Service Tasmania outlet.
These unusual medium-sized lobsters have a distinctive broad, flat-shaped shell, small legs and no pincer claws. They have shovel-like antennae at the front which they use to dig into soft substrates. They have five pairs of legs and are orange-red in colour. Sometimes confused with the Moreton Bay bug but can be distinguished by its more elongated shape and eyes that are further apart.
If you do manage to catch one recreationally, it’s
probably not worthwhile considering the effort to cook, clean and eat.
Consider returning to the water alive.
Found in sandy bottom from 4-280m in depth.
Balmain bugs are a type of slipper lobster, closely related to rock lobsters. They are occasionally encountered by recreational divers or fishers, but more commonly seen on commercial scallop vessels.
These slipper lobsters are safe to handle but take care around the tail which has sharp edges.
Follow any public health alerts relating to eating wild shellfish - refer to the Department of Health and Human Services at http://www.publichealthalerts.tas.gov.au or phone their hotline on 1800 671 738.
Usually boiled in a similar manner to rock lobster, Balmain bugs have most of their meat in the tail.
Level 3, 134 Macquarie St
Hobart TAS 7000
Phone: (03) 6165 3233, 1300 720 647
GPO Box 44
Phone: (03) 6165 3000, 1300 368 550