Food is a primary factor affecting the growth and survival of juvenile western rock lobsters in nursery areas. Determining how far juveniles travel when searching for food is essential in determining the size of area foraged and how much food is potentially available to them. Knowledge of foraging patterns and feeding activity of juvenile western rock lobsters is, therefore, required to understand their ecology.
Studies on natural foraging activity of rock lobsters are difficult. The animals feed at night and it is only possible for divers to observe a few animals. In addition, the natural behavior of rock lobsters is affected by the presence of divers. The lobsters hide from the divers in the seagrass beds instead of foraging.
Phillips et al. (1984) developed a method of remotely tracking juvenile western rock lobsters using electromagnetic tags. Natural foraging distances and activity can be determined by this method, enabling researchers to monitor the position of the tagged lobsters throughout the night.