Snap up half-price lobsters this Christmas
With China blocking imports of Australian rock lobsters, an abundant supply of the premium crustacean is flooding the domestic market. Now both Coles and Woolworths are offering western rock lobsters to Aussie consumers at a bargain price, just in time for Christmas.
It’s welcome news for the seafood industry, which was one of the hardest hit by COVID-19 before being dealt a trading blow by the China, which accounted for 94 percent of all Aussie rock lobster exports in the last financial year. The two mega supermarket chains have stepped in to move some of the volume that would ordinarily be exported – Coles has purchased 29 times the number of western rock lobsters compared to last year, while Woolies has taken on five times more product than last year.
Both supermarket chains are offering rock lobsters for $20 each – more than half the price that was offered at supermarkets last year. This is great news for seafood lovers, who are expected to jump at the opportunity – Woolworths estimates customers will feast on more than 35 tonnes of lobster this year, compared to just 6.5 tonnes last year.
The western rock lobster variety is mainly found on the continental shelf between Perth and Geraldton. Western Australia’s rock lobster fishery has received international acknowledgement as one of the best managed and most sustainable in the world.
“It’s been a tough year for Australian seafood exporters, and the latest restrictions have further challenged many businesses,” says Matthew Rutter, CEO of Geraldton Fishermen’s Co-operative based in WA. “[The] decision to range more WA rock lobsters in supermarkets across Australia makes a big difference for fisher owned co-ops like ours.”
Most co-op members live and work in regional coastal communities, where the economic activity from the fishing industry is vital to the social and economic fabric of the area.
“We’re hopeful more Aussies can enjoy an iconic delicacy like WA rock lobster with their loved ones this Christmas,” Rutter says. “They can take pride knowing they’re supporting regional communities and sustainable Australian fishing.”