The State Government is working with South Australia’s valuable Rock Lobster industry to reduce their business costs and deliver environmental benefits to the state.
The South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) is leading a four-year trial of alternative Rock Lobster pot designs in collaboration with the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation.
Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said researchers commenced trialing two new pot designs in the Southern Rock Lobster fishery when it opened earlier this month.
"Scientists are testing two new Rock Lobster pot designs in the commercial sector to assess whether industry can use them to catch their annual quota of Rock Lobster more efficiently," said Minister Whetstone.
"In 2016–17, South Australia’s fisheries and aquaculture sectors produced about 67,000 tonnes of seafood, generating revenue of $908 million.
"These sectors are particularly important to the regional communities they support.
"The State Government is keen to encourage industry sectors to improve their operations by utilising new technology."
SARDI Senior Research Scientist Dr Lachlan McLeay said the launch of the new pot designs would build on the success of trials in the Northern Zone Rock Lobster fishery.
"We began our research with the industry in the 2015-16 season with five new pot designs but our trials have narrowed down to two pots which could be capable of delivering results," said Dr McLeay.
Northern Zone commercial Rock Lobster fishers will also get the chance to trial the new ‘Deckhand’ phone app to report their catch electronically when their season opens in November.
The app was successfully used in the Southern Zone last season.
"The app allows fishers to provide real-time data about the fishery instead of previous paper-based system which had a two-month lag," said Dr McLeay.
"Feedback from industry on the app has been extremely positive."