History of the reporting program

Victoria’s recreational rock lobster tagging program was launched in 2017 to improve our understanding of the annual catch and manage stocks sustainably. All recreational fishers are required to report the rock lobster they catch and keep. The program has been highly successful to date and our initiative has been heralded by industry, FRDC and other stakeholders. In recognising the value of the catch information provided by thousands of fishers, the program has now been made ongoing so that future generations can continue to enjoy this remarkable fishery.

Previously, there has been a lack of information on how many rock lobsters are harvested by the recreational sector. The reporting program is collecting information on the numbers caught recreationally by using the number of digital tags reported to represent the number of rock lobsters caught.

Information collected through the program is building the VFA’s capacity to maintain a healthy fishery. This is important for the VFA as managers of the resource, important for recreational and commercial fishers, and absolutely vital to the long-term sustainability of stocks.

Phase two of the program

The VFA worked closely with the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) under FRDC project 2019-075, and a dedicated Rock Lobster Tagging Program Steering Committee to undertake a thorough review of the program. Based on the recommendations from this work, the VFA launched phase two of the rock lobster tagging program with a digital app.

The program now uses GoFishVicRL, a smartphone App from the Victorian Fisheries Authority. The app was released on 15 November 2023. Previously rock lobster could be tagged through the GoFishVic app.

GoFishVic RL streamlines the process for reporting rock lobster catches by adopting digital tags. This reduces the plastic footprint of the previous phase of the program by removing the need for fishers to order, possess and affix plastic tags to rock lobsters.

Season Summary Report

We have produced a summary report that provides an overview of data collected through Season 1 (2017/18), Season 2 (2018/19), Season 3 (2019/20) and Season 4 (2020-21) of the program, and comparisons between the seasons. Click here to view the report.    [PDF File - 1.7 MB]