Cheap lobsters on offer for Christmas tables as prices plummet due to China import ban
Southern rock lobsters are set to feature on Christmas tables across Australia amid plunging domestic prices, fuelled by the nation's growing trade tensions with China.
Southern rock lobster prices plummet as industry scrambles to find new markets
Commercial fishers begin selling lobster at regional wharfs to keep income "ticking over"
Industry raises fears China will not retreat from import roadblock amid trade tensions
Commercial fishers operating in Victoria, Tasmania, and South Australia are supplying record volumes to the domestic market after China's ban on Australian live lobster imports.
With the crustaceans removed from restaurants and markets in China, seafood processors and commercial fishers are hoping the domestic market will provide a critical lifeline to the troubled sector.
Some commercial fishers are now selling the world-renowned delicacy at regional wharfs for $30-$50 per kilogram.
Tasmanian commercial fisher Jason Hart this week sold his catch directly to the public at the Strahan wharf.
"I've never had to worry about selling them from the wharf before," Mr Hart said.
"Even when our markets have been bad you can still on-sell the fish. But I've never seen it like this, and I'm a third generation.
"It's good that people who enjoy them can actually afford a feed, I suppose.
"It's a bit cheaper, but it's making things hard for us."
Mr Hart said while prices were fluctuating it still cost him $30/kg just to run the boat.
"So if we're getting down to $30 we're just catching them for the fun of it. Even at $40 we're just catching it for the fun of it," he said.