New lobster zones worked

LOBSTER: The Northern Zone Rock Lobster Fisherman's Association president Trent Gregory said the fishery had a slow but successful season.
LOBSTER: The Northern Zone Rock Lobster Fisherman's Association president Trent Gregory said the fishery had a slow but successful season.

DESPITE some unusual weather last month, northern zone rock lobster fishermen had a good season. 

South Australian Northern Zone Rock Lobster Fishermen’s Association president Trent Gregory said the season was slow but the 300-tonne quota had still been reached. 

“It was slow, as we predicted, because of what the marine parks are doing to us but everyone caught their quota,” he said. 

Mr Gregory said the industry would continue to keep an eye on the new inner and outer fishing zones that were introduced at the beginning of the season last year in November. 

The normal fishing zone was closed to encourage fishers to try other areas.

“We will review it in two years but we will keep an eye on how fishers spread around and make sure they’re not all fishing the one spot,” he said.

He said although May was usually a good time for the fishery, this year, the month had been irregular. 

“We had a strange May, there was a lot of up-welling which affected how the fish creep out,” Mr Gregory said. 

Mr Gregory said the industry had a good rapport with fisheries and had worked with the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) and Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA) on the new inner and outer zones. 

“We need to thank SARDI and PIRSA for allowing us to trial it,” he said. 

“We’re in the hands of the market in China but we have got more tariffs coming off which will help us,” Mr Gregory said.