Wild Shellfish Alert - Do not eat wild shellfish from areas in and around Spring Bay and the Mercury Passage in South East Tasmania.
Northern Zone - male 110mm, female 120mm
Southern Zone - male 110mm, female 105mm
Read about transiting between size limit zones.
crayfish, cray, spinylobster
These large, spiny crustaceans are orange-red in colour with a rough
textured shell, being darker red in shallower waters to almost white in
very deep waters. Their features include a tough carapace, long
antennae, eyes on moving stalks, six small limbs around the mouth, five
pairs of walking legs and a segmented tail ending in a fan with
For dates, see Fishing Seasons.
Setting gear at season opening
You can only possess a rock lobster pot on state waters from 6am the day before the season opens for that region or zone and only set a pot after 1pm on the same day. Pots can then be pulled after midnight.
Transiting at season opening
You cannot possess pots or rings in any part of the East Coast Stock Rebuilding Zone until that area opens except pots in the D'Entrecasteaux Channel.
Transiting the D'Entrecasteaux Channel
When waters outside the East Coast Stock Rebuilding Zone are open but the ECSRZ is closed, you can transit the D'Entrecasteaux Channel and River Derwent waters with pots and/or rock lobster onboard provided conditions are met - read more.
5 rock lobster pots and 20 rock lobster rings.
Rock Lobster Rules for information about measuring, tail marking and sexing rock lobster and marking your gear.
Catch limits apply in
Rock Lobster Regions (Eastern, Western and Northern Bass Strait).
Found around Tasmania near rocky reefs and in crevices from close inshore out to 200 metres depth. After hatching, the young larvae undergo several complicated life stages for between 9-24 months.
Rock lobster are highly sought after by recreational fishers who use pots and rings and also dive to catch this species. Popular baits used include fish heads and frames and occasionally raw meats. They are opportunistic carnivores consuming species such as mussels, abalone, sea urchins, crabs and worms. Predators of rock lobster include octopus, sharks and fish species such as wrasse, ling and cod.
Handle lobsters carefully if they are soft-shelled or in berry. Be careful of sharp spines around the base of their antennae. Gently release undersized lobster back in the reef area where they were taken.
Follow any public health alerts relating to eating wild shellfish - refer to the Department of Public Health or phone their hotline on 1800 671 738.
Rock lobster has firm, white meat with a rich medium flavour. It has a low oil content and is suitable to simmer, steam, grill or barbeque.
It is considered a delicacy by many Tasmanians.
Humane killing of rock lobster
To avoid stress and achieve best eating qualities, rock lobster should be humanely killed before cooking and this can be done by:
(Step 1): Freezer chill lobster in air at deep freeze temperatures of -13 degrees Celsius for approximately 30 minutes until rendered insensible.
(Step 2): After chilling, the insensible crustacean should be killed immediately. This is most easily achieved by cutting through the centreline of the head and abdomen (splitting the lobster in half) or inserting a knife into the head of the animal (spiking). For more information see the
Recipe: Fresh Boiled Rock LobsterChill the live rock lobster down in the freezer for an hour to render it unconscious. Cook by boiling it in a large pot in clean seawater. If saltwater is not available, make salted tapwater by adding one tablespoon salt for every litre of water.
The lobster is properly cooked when the shell turns a brighter red and the meat is creamy white with no translucent areas. Put the lobster in a bowl of ice to stop the cooking process. Plunging it in cold water can let water into the body cavity, diluting the fresh lobster flavour.
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