Southern Rock Lobster in Robe - A 125-year history

Lobster season starts 1st Oct - 31st May

Lobster is available in most restraurants in ROBE (May have to book).

 

A 125-year history

In the early 1870s, locals began catching lobsters with hoop nets for sale in Adelaide and Kingston in the State's South-East - where they were expected to ask no more than two shillings a dozen off the jetty.

The first commercial pots werre used in 1899, and from the turn of the century small industries began to emerge in different parts of the State - at Kingston, on Kangaroo Island, and in the now famous fishing port of Port Lincoln.

In the late 1940s the SAFCOL co-operative opened a factory at Beachport to process lobster tails for export to America.

This was perhaps the most important single development in the industry's history, leading to rapid growth, the widespread use of pots, and strategic investment in depots, slipways and transport.

The American market remained the mainstay of the industry up until the start of the Asian live export trade in the 1980s.

In the years after World War II fishing vessels became more sophisticated with the addition of radios, echo sounders and pot haulers. The total catch rose steadily to a peak of 2827 tonnes in 1966/67, when entry to the industry was limited and all involved began to address the issue of sustainability.

In 1968 a Rock Lobster Advisory Committee was established to advise the State Government on resource management and this was followed by the introduction of industry liaison committees for each fishing zone.

Today, South Australia has one of the most modern, efficient fishing fleets in the world, fitted with the latest equipment and high-tech electronics.