Growing Futures

Maximising value from rock lobster

Maximising value from rock lobster

Ensuring rock lobster reach consumers in premium condition delivers maximum profitability from the catch

Rock lobster is one of the New Zealand seafood industry’s biggest exports, generating $221 million in revenue each year. More than 95% of exports are of live animals, primarily to Hong Kong and other Asian markets where their strong red colouration, size and shape are highly valued. Maintaining quality from harvest to market is vital in ensuring customer satisfaction and for earning a premium for New Zealand rock lobster exports.

The importance of quality

The CRA8 fishery in south New Zealand is the largest rock lobster fishery, catching up to 962 tonnes of rock lobster each year, around 34% of the total allowable catch under the Quota Management System.

New guidelines on catching, handling and transporting rock lobster, designed to reduce the animals’ stress, implemented at the CRA8 fishery have resulted in a more than 50% reduction in mortality claims by importers. Simultaneously, the value of New Zealand rock lobster in the global marketplace has increased by close to 50% since 2000, to $83,018 per ton.

The CRA8 Rock Lobster Handling Guidelines were developed with funding from the CRA8 Management Committee, Seafood Innovations Ltd and Plant & Food Research.

Created: September 2012

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