Rock lobster tagging program
Tagging of recreationally caught rock lobsters commencing 1 July 2017
On 1 July 2017, Fisheries Victoria will introduce a three-year pilot program in which all recreational fishers will be required to tag the rock lobster they catch and keep.
Fisheries Victoria seeks your feedback on the proposed program
The tagging requirements will be implemented by a Fisheries Notice and Fisheries Victoria is currently conducting stakeholder consultation on the draft Notice.
The consultation period is open until COB Friday 21 April 2017 and the draft Notice can be found on our Current consultation page.
Why is Fisheries Victoria bringing in this program?
The rock lobster fishery in Victoria is an important resource for recreational and commercial fishers, as well as the community as a whole. A primary focus of the government is to ensure ongoing access to this pristine resource for all sectors and a healthy, sustainable and well managed fishery that present and future generations can enjoy.
Currently, there is a lack of information on how many rock lobsters are harvested by the recreational sector. The aim of the tagging program is therefore to collect this data through the use of tags; the number of tags used each year will represent the number of rock lobsters caught. The information generated will be incredibly important for recreational fishers to understand their total annual catch and ensure they continue to have a fantastic fishery into the future.
Key principles of the tagging system
- The tagging program will be run as a three-year pilot program.
- All retained rock lobster will need to be tagged.
- All recreational fishers, regardless of whether they're exempt from holding a Recreational Fishing Licence, must use tags.
- Tags will be free.
- The number of tags issued each season will be unlimited.
- There will be a maximum number of tags per person at any one time, but this can be 'topped-up' to the maximum when tag use is reported.
- Tags will be individually numbered and assigned to a fisher.
- Tags will not be transferable to other fishers (with the exception of children under the age of 18 and under the direct supervision of an adult in possession of tags)
- Tags must be placed on the horn of the lobster and this must be done within 5 minutes of bringing rock lobster onto a boat, or if taken from the shore, within 5 minutes of landing and within 50 metres of the place of landing (these conditions are consistent with existing tail fin clipping requirements).
- Use of tags can be reported at any time through the web or the app, however, to be eligible for tags in a subsequent year, all tags from the previous year must be accounted for and reported (used, not used or lost).
How do I get tags?
Tags will be available online through the Fisheries Victoria website, a Victorian Rock Lobster Tag app and selected Fisheries Victoria offices.
Tags will be sent by Australia Post to your nominated delivery address, so will take an average of 5-7 business days to arrive.
What will I need to do with the tags?
- Get online
- Create a personalised account and password
- Order tags
- Place a tag on the horn of each lobster you take from the water before you leave the place of landing (i.e. the beach or the boat)
- Report tag use and order more tags if you want to
- Report on all tags in your possession at the end of the year
What are the seasons for tags?
- Year 1: 1 July 2017 to 15 September 2018
- Year 2: 16 November 2018 – 15 September 2019
- Year 3: 16 November 2019 – 15 September 2020
Please note that the post-dated 'use, non-use or loss' of tags can be reported throughout the closed season.