Business on the boil
Restaurant owner Colin Cox with a fresh 2kg rock lobster in his kitchen. Lobsters, highly popular with Chinese tourists, have become more affordable with the announcement of a new quota for fishermen.
The WA Government is allowing fishermen to sell an extra 100 rock lobsters each to be consumed here in WA.
Skeetas Restaurant owner Colin Cox said it was a boost to business that enabled him to sell lobsters to tourists and the public at a price they could afford.
“We’ve got a multitude of Chinese tourists coming through and we probably triple our turnover in crayfish since we’ve been able to get them at a reasonable price,” he said.
The extra quota has been allocated for the third year in a row because more than 95 per cent of WA’s rock lobster catch would otherwise go to China.
Mr Cox said each time it had tripled his lobster turnover.
“I’ve been buying probably 25 fresh crays a week whereas in previous years I might only have bought 12 every three or four weeks,” he said.
“We are known as the crayfish capital, and years gone by people have come in expecting to get it and we haven’t got any.”
Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly said additional supplies of Western Australia’s prized western rock lobster would be made available for WA families and tourists to enjoy over the summer festive season through to Easter 2019.
“The McGowan Government is extending the popular Local Lobster Program for a four-month period, to bring an extra 25,000 lobsters to dining tables in homes and restaurants throughout the State,” he said.
Fishermen can only sell the specially tagged rock lobsters to restaurants, fresh fish retailers or direct to the public.