Project number: 2003-242
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $287,538.00
Principal Investigator: John Carragher
Organisation: SARDI Food Safety and Innovation
Project start/end date: 30 Oct 2003 - 30 Mar 2008


The primary need for this project is to characterise the flesh quality attributes of SRL, required for companies to invest in large and/or white SRL products, thus maximising the financial returns of a limited resource. This fits into the:

FRDC’s R&D Strategy.
Program 2: Industry Development Strategy 7 - Value-adding
“To increase and apply knowledge of product…”.
Although projects in this area are normally funded through Seafood Services Australia (SSA) it is important to make the distinction that we are not developing a new product, process or market. This project will provide the fundamental knowledge on which SSA can offer advice to companies interested in developing SRL products and/or processes in the future.

RL Post-Harvest Subprogram:
Vision statement
“To ensure Australia obtains the maximum value for its rock lobster catch”.
Priority – Improving processing practices
(Acknowledged to have a broad-ranging scope for R&D projects but is relevant to, and would benefit from, this application being funded. New processing practices may eventually arise for commercially harvested lobsters associated with future development of niche products utilising lobsters with specific flesh characteristics).

Strategy 2002-2007 Key Priority Areas Program 2: Industry Development –
“Identify the best use and highest economic value for seafood production; post harvest enhancement.”

This project has received strong support from SARLAC. Indeed, the Australian Southern Rock Lobster Industry identified ‘Market Planning and Development’ as a high priority for this industry (Strategy 2020 draft #21). This plan identified the need for product development projects funded by the FRDC (Investment Platform 2; Action #2) with the aim of directing subsequent and future research at niche market and value-added products.

This proposed project also has solid linkages and similar themes as the FRDC/CRC project;
2001/248 Aquafin CRC – SBT Aquaculture Subprogram: Maximising the control of quality in farmed SBT.

In conclusion, we believe this project will deliver important fundamental knowledge about flesh quality in SRL and, as such, is strategic information about the ‘raw material’. Consequently, with this vital strategic information, processing companies and the Southern Rocklobster industry will have a sound basis on which to make tactical commercial decisions that develop new products for wider markets.


1. Determine flesh quality characteristics of commercially caught SRL from different locations, seasons, sizes, moult stages and shell colour etc
2. Determine flesh quality characteristics of SRL held long term in tanks
3. Correlate flesh quality indicators with data from experienced sensory analysis panels

Final report

ISBN: 978-1-921563-17-1
Author: John Carragher

Related research


Refine the Southern Rock Lobster Cold Chain

1. Develop a full understanding of the supply chain for Southern Rock Lobster into export markets, to be able to pinpoint the key challenges faced in ensuring quality and maintaining temperature control.
KPMG Australia Melbourne