The Back of Boat Lobster initiative continues to evolve in response to the needs of both the community and fishers, ensuring that Western Australians can enjoy the freshest lobster directly from the fishing boats they trust.
- The landing limit for Back of Boat has been increased to 999 per trip, allowing fishers to meet local community demand for lobsters throughout the year.
- WRL returns to the Royal Show to raise awareness about the western rock lobster industry and promote the Back of Boat initiative, including to showcase the new online ordering platform.
Western Rock Lobster (WRL) is pleased to announce further advancements in its Back of Boat (BoB) initiative, reaffirming its dedication to ensuring Western Australians have continuous access to the freshest lobster, while simultaneously connecting with, and supporting, the local fishing industry.
Since its inception in 2020, the Back of Boat initiative has transformed the way Western Australians access the freshest lobster. Collaboratively designed by WRL and DPIRD, this unique program enables consumers to purchase live lobsters directly from fishing boats along the Western Australian coast. The initiative has enjoyed overwhelming community support.
Initially, the program set a maximum limit of 100 lobsters per landing. However, due to high demand, the industry requested an increased to 200 lobsters per landing. In December, during the traditional holiday peak season, the limit surged to 400 lobsters per day. As of 1st July 2023, this cap was once again expanded, now allowing for the sale of up to 999 lobsters per landing, highlighting the growing popularity of Back of Boat lobsters in Western Australia.
The Western Australian community has wholeheartedly embraced the Back of Boat initiative since its introduction, achieving a significant milestone with the sale of 100 tons of live lobster directly to the public in December 2022. Since its launch in September 2020, 102 different vessels have landed an astonishing 123,847 kilograms of Back of Boat lobsters at 21 ports stretching from Kalbarri to Fremantle along the WA coast.
“It has been fantastic to be able to sell back to the public. For people who can’t get out on a boat themselves, it’s great to be able to share our stories and experiences of being out on the water with them. Back of Boat sales are a really nice way for people to see who we are,” said WRL Deputy Chair and active commercial fisherman, Fedele Camarda.
In an effort to further enhance the program’s accessibility and efficiency, WRL has launched an online ordering and payment platform on the newly developed BackofBoat.com website. This innovative platform streamlines the ordering process, allowing consumers to connect directly with participating fishers. It automates all transaction elements while offering valuable information on lobster handling, preparation, recipes, and sustainability, fostering a stronger connection between the industry and the community.
Building on the success of the previous year’s exhibition at the Royal Show and the overwhelmingly positive response received about the Back of Boat initiative, this year, WRL will showcase their brand-new online ordering platform. The team will be available to provide live demonstrations, guiding visitors on how to navigate the website, place orders, and explore all the features it offers.
“The first initiative under the industry’s digital transformation program was to improve the experience for the community and fishers when ordering and purchasing Back of Boat lobsters. Automating this entire process makes it easy for everyone and allows the face-to-face time between fishers and consumers to focus on industry promotion, shared learning and relationship building,” said WRL CEO, Matt Taylor.
WRL stand has been designed to engage both children and families, helping them understand the journey of seafood from ocean to plate. Additionally, a diverse array of educational activities and resources will be available, such as interactive discussions with fishers, cooking demonstrations and tastings led by Chef Don Hancey, brief documentaries, lobster-themed crafts for children, and various other engaging experiences.
We look forward to welcoming visitors at the Farm 2 Food Pavilion and sharing these exciting experiences with you.
For more information about Back of Boat, visit www.backofboat.com