Approximately 75% of the rock lobster fleet is greater than 12 metres in length. By law, these vessels are required to have a skipper and a deckhand, however, there are some exemptions in place, meaning no crew is required. Majority of the remaining vessels are in the 10 – 12 m size range.
There is a distinct separation of the investment sector and catching sector of the wild caught Tasmanian rock lobster industry. This has created a level of concern and conflict between fishers paying high lease prices per quota unit to investors.
There is an opportunity for deckhands to upskill and take over the role of skipper on existing fleet vessels.