West Coast Rock Lobster

(Jasus lalandii)

Rock lobster, West coast, Spiny lobster, Kreef, Weskus kreed, Crayfish

1. What is it?

West Coast Rock Lobsters (Jasus lalandii) are slow growing, long lived crustaceans making them susceptible to overfishing. The most recent stock assessment indicates the stock is heavily depleted at only 2% of its pre-exploitation levels.

2. How was it caught or farmed?

West Coast rock lobsters (WCRL) are caught using traps, ring nets, pots, hops and occasionally by hand. These methods are fairly selective with little bycatch and impact on the benthic environment is considered to be minimal. However WCRL are considered to be important predators within an ecosystem and the loss of these species can negatively affect the whole ecosystem.

3.Where is it from?

West Coast rock lobsters are found in shallow waters from Walvis Bay in Namibia to East London in South Africa, where it can usually be found on rocky bottoms. Management is through a Total Allowable Catch (TAC) limit (subdivided across geographical areas according to stock size) and size limitations (minimum commercial size: 75mm, recreational: 80mm). Management is considered to be marginally effective due to the increased levels of poaching, disregard of scientific recommendations in the recent TAC allocations and finally the lack of clear directions regarding the implementation of the small scale fishing policy.