Update - Export restrictions for rock lobster from Tasmania
Date of effect: 15/01/2013
DAFF issues this direction in writing under the Export Control (Fish and Fish Products) Orders 2005, Order 75, directing exporters and export registered establishments to comply with the following requirements for rock lobster for export from Tasmania until further notice.
DAFF has been advised by the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water & Environment (DPIPWE) that parts of the Tasmanian East Coast Lobster Fishery remain closed.
Exports of rock lobster and rock lobster products harvested from closed areas of the Tasmanian East Coast Lobster Fishery are not permitted.
The direction applies to the species, Janus edwardsii (Southern rock lobster).
The area of the East Coast Lobster Fishery from Waterhouse Island in the north to the bottom of Marian Bay in the south remains closed following seasonal closure in response to the recent algae bloom that has affected both mussels and scallops sourced from this area.
The northern boundary of the closed area is a line of latitude passing through approximately the middle of Banks Strait and extending to Waterhouse Island in the west. The southern boundary of the closed area at Marion Bay remains unchanged since the last Industry Advice Notice.
In addition, from 15 January 2013 the closed area for commercial rock lobster fishing will be extended while further sampling takes place in the area of Furneaux Group of islands. Commercial fishing will remain closed in this extended area while samples are collected and analysed.
The area to be closed extends the current western boundary at the eastern tip of Waterhouse Island to the limits of State Waters. The additional closure is the area of State waters adjacent to Flinders Island and the Furneaux Group of islands, bounded in the south by the line of latitude at 40° 39’ 18” South, bounded in the west by the line of longitude at 147° 39’ 0” East, bounded in the north by the outer limits of State waters and bounded in the east by the outer limits of State waters.
Contact DPIPWE for more information about the closures.
See Letter to RL Industry dated 8 January 2013 for additional information on the closures.
The Tasmanian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has also issued a public health notice advising the public not to consume rock lobster sourced from parts of this fishery.
The presence of the toxin is a result of a naturally occurring algae bloom. Affected rock lobsters do not look or taste any different and the toxin is not destroyed by freezing or cooking.
This direction restricting export is to remain in force until the affected area of the fishery has been re–opened to commercial fishing of rock lobster. DAFF will liaise with the Tasmanian authorities and update and re–issue this notice as required.
Declarations of Compliance
To support the export of rock lobster and rock lobster products sourced elsewhere and thus not subject to this order, exporters are required to include the following statement on all Declarations of Compliance for rock lobster of these species:
“This rock lobster / rocklobster product has been prepared from rock lobster that has been sourced from an open fisheries area.”
For queries regarding rock lobster export, please contact DAFF.