14/09/2021 | David Basham MP

The southern zone commercial rock lobster season will once again open two weeks early to help fishers get product on shelf in time for this year’s mid-Autumn ‘Moon Cake’ festival and China National Day celebrations, so enjoyed by the Chinese community of South Australia.

The mid-Autumn festival, to be held this year on 21 September, is one of the most important celebrations on the Chinese calendar and by opening the Southern Zone Rock Lobster Fishery on 15 September there will be plenty of lobster available.

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham said the earlier season opening provides an opportunity for fishers who have been impacted by COVID-19 restrictions and global market disruptions to make some money while supplying quality rock lobster to festivals.

“Opening the rock lobster season early will give our fishers greater flexibility to market their product strategically in response to changing market conditions,” Minister Basham said.

“Pleasingly despite the challenges of the past couple of years our southern commercial rock lobster fishers have still been able to achieve healthy catch levels and been able to find markets.

“Our fisheries are of vital importance to regional coastal communities contributing $240 million to the Gross State Product in 2019-20 and supporting approximately 4,300 full time equivalent jobs, many in regional areas.

“We are supporting commercial fishers by allowing flexibility which doesn’t impact the sustainability of key species, such as extending seasons and allowing carryover of uncaught fish from one season to the next.

“The Marshall Liberal Government will continue to work with industry to implement support measures to our fishing industry where needed.”

For recreational fishers in the southern zone, the rock lobster seasonal closure remains in place until 6am on 1 October.

For more information on the temporary fisheries management arrangements: https://www.pir.sa.gov.au/fishing