- Back of Boat (BoB) is a Western Rock Lobster (WRL) initiative to ensure the WA community has continuous access and ongoing connection to the Western Rock Lobster fishing industry.
- Back of Boat lobster are the freshest, best value lobster on the local market, sold live by the fishers themselves as soon as they return to the wharf.
- WRL develops an online ordering and payment platform for Back of Boat to make the administrative process easier and more efficient.
- WRL creates a new website designed to engage the public in an effort to increase awareness of the industry and to inspire and help people feel more comfortable when cooking lobster at home.
- Back of Boat reaches a significant milestone with almost 100 tons of live lobsters sold to the community.
The new online ordering and payment platform, located on the backofboat.com website, will allow consumers to more efficiently and effectively connect with participating fishers directly and have all of the transaction elements digitally automated.
The BoB ordering system provides a secure online ordering and payment platform to receive orders from customers, process online payments, and transmit the order directly to the fisher.
The platform will feature Back of Boat fishers up and down the coast from Mandurah to Kalbarri and will provide their customers with the convenience of online ordering for a specific day and location.
Any commercial western rock lobster fisher can sign up and schedule and publish a planned fishing trip. Fishers also have the ability to self-manage parameters such as daily quotas, price, etc.
Matt Taylor, CEO of the Western Rock Lobster Council commented, “we anticipate this reduction in manual administration and increased flexibility will encourage more fishers to participate in BoB sales, increase the availability and accessibility of western rock lobster in our local market, and create a better experience for customers”.
WRL’s community connection website backofboat.com contains all the necessary information about lobster handling, preparation, and recipes along with key information about sustainability and other industry-related topics of interest to the community.
“This streamlined, unified messaging will help strengthen our ability to effectively communicate our story, differentiate our premium product, and explain what makes western rock lobster the best in the world.” Said Mr. Taylor.
The website itself is a resource that the community can use to fully understand the western rock lobster fishery, how it works and aims to answer most of the common questions.
“We are very excited to offer this new tool to help people become better informed about the industry and to help them feel confident handling and cooking lobster,” Matt Taylor added.
WRL Deputy Chair and active commercial fisherman, Fedele Camarda, commented that “Industry see Back of Boat as central to establishing genuine relationships with the community, strengthening the connection to the fishery and building a sense of identity and pride in the world-class premium seafood product.”
“Back of Boat has given industry an invaluable opportunity to engage directly with the community and to demonstrate its values and practices. It serves as a platform to educate the community on industry’s proud management, operations, and regulations via storytelling and transparency”, added Mr. Taylor.
The WA community has really embraced the Back of Boat initiative since its introduction, with sales about to reach a significant milestone this Christmas. Just over two years after its launch in September 2020, a total of 95 different vessels have landed almost 100 tons of live lobsters at 20 ports along the WA coast.
WRL and government continue to work together to continuously refine the BoB program to meet the needs of the fishers and the community. As a recent measure to increase flexibility, fishers are now allowed to consign up to 50 unsold Back of Boat lobsters per trip to a registered receiver. This will ensure risk-free extra supply is available for unplanned sales as well as increases in ordered lobsters at the point of sale which often could not be accommodated.
“This new flexibility is expected to result in greater numbers of BoB lobsters sold, a better experience for customers, and fishers no longer having to deal with unsold lobsters each landing,” commented Mr. Taylor.
Fishers are currently allowed to land up to 400 BoB lobsters per trip on any December day when community demand and traditional seafood consumption is at its highest, and up to 200 BoB lobsters per trip any other day.
For more information about Back of Boat, visit https://backofboat.com/