The Western Rock Lobster industry is a major contributor to economic growth and job creation in Western Australia, according to comprehensive economic analysis that quantifies the fishery’s contribution to the State for the first time.
Launched today by Fisheries Minister, the Hon Dave Kelly MLA, the report reveals the industry contributed $505 million and supported more than 2,400 direct and indirect jobs across the State in 2016-17.
Of this, the Perth metropolitan region – spanning from Two Rocks to Mandurah – contributed more than $300 million, supported 1,260 jobs and generated approximately 34 per cent of the total annual catch of Western Rock Lobsters.
Western Rock Lobster Council CEO Matt Taylor said the report findings demonstrate the industry’s significant value to the State.
“After more than half a century of growth for this industry, we are finally able to quantify the true value of our iconic fishery for the very first time,” Mr Taylor said.
“The industry was started by passionate fishers and their families in the early 1950s. Today it is an important, sophisticated and sustainable industry that continues to contribute significant value for WA.
“In particular, the industry continues to underpin economic prosperity and social development within our regional towns and coastal communities.”
The fishery, which is managed by the Western Rock Lobster Council, creates major local employment opportunities across the broader supply chain including the managed fishery, processed seafood manufacturing, boat building and tourism.
There are a total of 226 boats in the fishery with 75 boats operating within the Perth metropolitan area, where the fishery and processed seafood manufacturing sectors are the key economic drivers.
“We are pleased the findings confirm the Western Rock Lobster fishery is the most valuable fishery in Australia, and we can now promote its positive and tangible impact on our State,” Mr Taylor said.
“Its economic contribution is comparable to other primary industries in Western Australia including sheep meat and wool and we are a market leader contributing almost 60 per cent of Australia’s lobster exports.
“Our industry has been a constant generator of stability, job creation, and economic output for many years and we believe it has the capacity to become a $1 billion industry within the next decade.”
The fishery is already recognised as a global leader in sustainable fisheries management and in 2000, it was the first fishery in the world to be certified as ecologically sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council, recognising the high environmental values and sustainable practices of industry members.
“We proactively manage our fishery using evidence-based, scientific research and modern technology and we’re proud of our role in maintaining its health and productivity to ensure it remains valuable and sustainable for generations to come,” Mr Taylor said.
Western Rock Lobster Council Chairman Kim Colero said the industry is looking to the future.
“Today marks the beginning of a new and exciting chapter in our history and confirms the status of the Western Rock Lobster industry as a vital contributor to the Western Australian economy.
“Importantly, as an industry we are always looking to the future. This report signals our intent to continue to build our industry and it is our hope that within a decade we will be inviting the Minister back to help us celebrate a $1billion industry,” Mr Colero said.
Read the summary report here
Read the full report here
Read the Ministers media statement here
2017-084 WRL IPA: economic contribution of the Western Rock Lobster industry to Western Australia and Australia is supported by funding from the Fisheries Research Development Commission (FRDC) on behalf of the Australian Government.