The western rock lobster industry has had its export licence extended for two years on the condition it takes further steps to reduce whale entanglements.
Three whales have been reported as tangled in fishing gear this year on Western Australia’s Mid West coast, and with the humpback’s northern migration beginning this month, that number is expected to rise.
Twenty-two whales were reported tangled in fishing gear last year.
Chief executive officer of the Western Rock Lobster Council, John Harrison, says the lobster industry already abides by management practices to reduce whale entanglements and is considering further measures.
He says several factors have increased entanglements, not just growing whale populations.
“We have also changed our fishing patterns for the first time for many many years, so we are now fishing 12 months of the year for lobster, so the interaction is going to be there during the migration,” he said.