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Colour variation in the southern rock lobster Jasus edwardsii and its economic impact on the commercial industry


Chandrapavan, A and Gardner, C and Linnane, A and Hobday, D, Colour variation in the southern rock lobster Jasus edwardsii and its economic impact on the commercial industry, New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, 43, (1) pp. 537-545. ISSN 0028-8330 (2009) [Refereed Article]

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© The Royal Society of New Zealand 2009

DOI: doi:10.1080/00288330909510020


Southern rock lobster Jasus edwardsii varies in shell coloration throughout southern Australia. Predominantly exported as a live product to Asian markets, price is influenced by colour with prices higher for dark red than paler coloured lobsters, which are discounted. This paper explores spatial and depth variation in shell colour for the Tasmanian, South Australian and Victorian fisheries using catch sampling data. The proportion of red lobsters decreased with depth and was prevalent at depths less than 30 m, whereas paler coloured lobsters dominated the deeper depth ranges. The depth of transition where 50% of lobsters were classified as red showed a weak trend of increase with latitude from southern Tasmania to northern South Australia. Under quota management, lobster colour was a significant driver of fleet dynamics as fishers target areas of high price per unit. Consequently, catches of pale lobsters from greater depths remain low despite the high catch rates in these areas. The colour price differential varies seasonally (higher in summer) so fishers increase supply of pale lobsters during winter. Discounting on colour equates to aus$6.67 million/year for the Tasmanian Fishery alone, which indicates value from management or marketing research to reduce discounting.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:spatial colour variation; price discounting; quota management; Tasmania; Australia
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Fisheries sciences
Research Field:Fisheries management
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Fisheries - wild caught
Objective Field:Wild caught prawns
UTAS Author:Chandrapavan, A (Miss Arani Chandrapavan)
UTAS Author:Gardner, C (Professor Caleb Gardner)
ID Code:59089
Year Published:2009
Web of Science® Times Cited:34
Deposited By:TAFI - Marine Research Laboratory
Deposited On:2009-11-17
Last Modified:2011-07-28
Downloads:2 View Download Statistics

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