Australian and New Zealand Rock Lobster is a high value product that has strong recognition in their local and export markets. There are $Billions tied up in capital investment across the combined jurisdictions of the Trans-Tasman lobster fisheries. As with most other wild caught fisheries and seafood sectors Trans-Tasman lobster fisheries face similar challenges in regards to, sustainability, threats to / competition for the resource and resource access, product quality and food safety, implications from aquaculture production and applying and taking advantage of new and emerging technologies. In addition to these common industry issues, lobster fisheries produce a product that is predominantly for live export which adds further challenges such as barriers to trade and trade agreements, complex supply chains and understanding the ‘what and where’ of new market opportunities.
Well organised and educational forums such as Trans-Tasman Rock Lobster Congresses enable a sharing of information and a collaborative approach to addressing challenges and sharing successes. Since first being held in 1999 the biennial Rock Lobster conferences have become the pre-eminent forum for the respective Trans-Tasman lobster industries to consider and address the many challenges across the supply chain. There is never a shortage of key issues and topics to address and bring together in a common theme to deliver a successful Trans-Tasman Industry Congress that has the support of all the key industry bodies and wider stakeholders.