Victorian Rock Lobster Management Plan

Image of the VFA published report

The Victorian Rock Lobster Management Plan was declared in December 2017.  It is the third management plan for the fishery and replaces the previous plan declared in 2009.  The first management plan was introduced in 2003 and focused on rebuilding rock lobster stock and improving the economic prosperity of the commercial fishery.  Each subsequent plan has expanded on the directions and incentives of the first plan and enhanced the sustainability of the rock lobster stock for all utilising the resource.

The management plan specifies the policies, management objectives and strategies for managing Victoria's rock lobster resource under the requirements of the Fisheries Act 1995and the principles of ecologically sustainable development.

The objectives for the Rock Lobster Fishery are:

Objective 1:  Ensure the sustainability of the rock lobster resource

Objective 2:  Ensure a fair and equitable allocation of the rock lobster resource

Objective 3:  Ensure optimal economic utilisation of the rock lobster resource

Objective 4:  Cost-effective and participatory management

Objective 5:  Maintain the ecological integrity of the fishery ecosystem

This management plan introduces a new catch rate-based harvest strategy and a new program to estimate recreational catch.  Both are focused on ensuring that the rock lobster resource is managed sustainably, that the total annual removal of stock from the resource by the commercial and recreational sectors is known and that analyses of the stock are accurate.

An important new principle that has been embraced in this management plan is one of continuous improvement.  This is reflected by embedding an annual review process into the science program underpinning the assessment of the rock lobster resource and in the development of annual work plans.  This ensures constant evaluation and identification of changing conditions to allow management activity to be directed appropriately and the resource to continue to be managed efficiently and effectively.

A copy of the plan can be downloaded: