Building Stronger Community Bonds with Back of Boat this Festive Season

This festive season once again highlighted the tremendous popularity of Back of Boat lobster sales among the Western Australian community, with nearly 27,000 lobsters sold in December alone. The overwhelming demand not only underscored the success of this community connection and social licence initiative but also reinforced our commitment to expanding its presence for a more sustainable connection with the community.

On Saturday 23rd December, fisher Bruce Cockman and his crew offered ‘Back of Boat’ lobster at Hillarys Boat Harbour.

The Back of Boat initiative has undergone significant evolution since its launch in September 2020, adapting to meet local demand. Originally capped at 100 lobsters per landing per day and 200 on any December day, we raised the limit to 200 lobsters per day and 400 for December days. In 2023, in response to the increasing demand, the daily limit increase to 999.

Bruce Cockman’s boat, ‘Holdfast,’ headed from Dongara to Hillarys to supply fresh lobster to the public just before Christmas.

To ensure everyone could enjoy locally sourced lobster this holiday season, WRL organised BoB Christmas sales activations at five different ports – Mandurah, Port Coogee, Fremantle, Hillarys, and Cervantes – on Saturday 23rd December. Locals wholeheartedly embraced the fisher-direct live lobster purchase option, with over 8,000 lobsters sold at these events.

Fremantle fisherman Fedele Camarda offered the day’s catch aboard their vessel, the Neptune III, in Fremantle Harbour.

Recognising the need for a seamless experience for both fishers and customers, especially during the peak season, WRL introduced an online ordering and payment system for Back of Boat. This digital platform streamlines the purchase process, offering convenience to consumers and allowing more time for engagement with fishers and the industry. The public response has been overwhelmingly positive, with nearly 9,000 lobsters sold in December through the new online ordering system. Traditional methods, including the fishery directory and repeat customers, continue to contribute significantly to Back of Boat lobster sales.

Mandurah’s Peter Stanich and his crew selling the freshest crays straight from the ‘Relentless’ at the Mandurah Marina.

WRL extends gratitude to processors supporting Back of Boat sales, understanding its importance to the entire industry and future resource access security. A special thank you to the fishers who actively participate, connecting with customers in their hometowns. In just over three years since its introduction, 105 vessels have landed over 240,000 live lobsters at 21 ports along the WA coast from Kalbarri to Fremantle.

Peter Vinci with his sons, Michael and Glenn, and two grandkids aboard Sandra V at Port Coogee Marina on Saturday 23rd December.

Feedback from the community, received directly and via social media, highlights the joy of buying the freshest, best-value lobsters directly from fishers. The community enjoys learning more about the industry, capturing moments with photos and videos around the boats holding our world-class delicacy.

We appreciate the continuous support from the community, local businesses, media, and local and state government as we refine and develop this fantastic initiative.


The online ordering platform extends its reach to BoB fishers along the coast, covering Mandurah to Kalbarri. Streamlining the process, customers can now conveniently place orders for a specific day and location.


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