Western Rock Lobster plans to establish an Australasian Institute for Spiny Lobster Research in a bid to double the industry’s economic contribution to $1 billion in the next decade.
Western Rock Lobster CEO Matt Taylor said while achieving a gross value production (GVP) target of $1 billion by 2028 was ambitious, Western Rock Lobster is confident it is achievable and will benefit the industry, create jobs and leverage far greater funding into Western Australia.
“As the most valuable and iconic fishery in Australia, the western rock lobster industry is the seventh most valuable primary industry in WA with the second highest growth rate,” Mr Taylor said.
“Our industry already contributes more than $500 million to the WA economy but we want to see that contribution grow to more than $1 billion.
“Through extensive consultation with industry members and the commissioning of an independent concept study, we have identified a number of key drivers to help us achieve our target.”
The Australasian Institute for Spiny Lobster Research concept study identified that while international demand for lobster is increasing, overseas competitors are building market share.
“We must adopt a co-ordinated approach to develop and commercialise new knowledge and technologies to tackle industry challenges, especially as we compete on an international level,” Mr Taylor said.
“WA leads the way in lobster research expertise, particularly in fisheries management and stock forecasting and we want to build on this strong foundation.
“As the world’s first Marine Stewardship Council certified sustainable fishery, our fishers pride themselves on planning not just for seasons but for generations to come.”
The concept study identified a broad range of research programs for consideration including maintaining optimal sustainable harvest, improving productivity in fishing effort and downstream productivity and supply chain optimisation.
“The concept study confirms the critical role the Australasian Institute for Spiny Lobster Research would play in assisting the industry in achieving its ambition to grow and safeguard a sustainable fishery,” Mr Taylor said.
“The Institute will benefit the industry at a national level and enable us to implement innovative strategies and technologies across the sector and support our goal to create new jobs and tourism opportunities.”
Western Rock Lobster is working with the State Government to explore funding options for the new Institute.
To achieve the best research outcomes, the Western Rock Lobster will work collaboratively with a range of key stakeholders such as fishers, processors, regulators, retailers, sector advocates, international lobster research bodies, Australian universities, Australian Institute of Marine Science, CSIRO and other Commonwealth and State based departments.
Read the Australiasian Reserach Institute for Spiny Losbter Research Concept Study Report here.