Opening of rock lobster seasons unchanged Thu 5 July 2012 Bryan Green Minister for Primary Industries and Water The Minister for Primary Industries and Water, Bryan Green said today the openings for the rock lobster season for commercial and recreational fishers would be unchanged for the 2012-13 season. Mr Green said the season for recreational fishers will open on November 3 and for the commercial sector on November 15. "Stock levels continue to be closely monitored and the total allowable catch for the next quota period 1 March 2013 to 28 February 2014 will be announced later this year," Mr Green said. A new rock lobster management plan was introduced prior to the start of this season with measures to help ease pressure on East Coast stocks. "We have a responsibility to manage rock lobster stocks sustainably and the new plan balances issues facing the fishery with the needs of the commercial and recreational sectors." Mr Green said that the current season for male rock lobster within the commercial fishery will remain open until September 30, and the trial extended season that commenced last year in northern waters (Cape Sorell, north to Eddystone Point), will continue until 31 October. "The season dates for the commercial male lobster fishery in the northern region that will apply again this year are aimed at providing commercial fishers with the opportunity to supply markets when prices are at a premium." "This may also yield benefits to eastern region stocks, if fishers choose to harvest more of the total allowable commercial catch from these northern waters." "The current season for the non-commercial male rock lobster fishery will remain open until August 31." Mr Green said the status of stocks in the eastern half of the fishery would continue to be closely monitored. "Management decisions taken over the last 2 years including reductions in the total allowable commercial catch and recreational bag and possession limits for the east coast were all aimed at rebuilding stocks in this important part of the fishery." "My Department, in close consultation with the commercial and recreational sectors, is developing regional management options for the longer term sustainability of the fishery on the east coast," Mr Green said. More details on the rock lobster seasons and management guidelines are available at www.fishing.tas.gov.au.