News of commercial and domestic fishing in the waters of the the Tristan da Cunha archipelago.

Administrator's March visit to Gough Island

Philip Kendall joined the Fisheries Department on a charter voyage to do camera surveys.
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Expressions of interest invited to fish Tristan's lobster quota

Tristan da Cunha crestThe Government of Tristan da Cunha has announced that it is inviting Expressions of Interest from suitably qualified fishing companies to fish the Tristan spiny lobster quota for up to 10 years.

Administrator Philip Kendall, commented,

"Tristan lobster has an outstanding reputation as a high quality product, from one of the most pristine marine areas on the Planet. Exceptional provenance is essential to consumers of high quality, MSC certified, sustainable lobster. The restaurants and retailers that supply consumers, value Tristan Lobster as a reliable, long-term supplier, which enables them to invest in establishing and continuing to support this premium lobster product."

James Glass, Director of Fishery added,

"as a British Overseas Territory, we are proud of the sustainable way the fishery has been scientifically managed, which means we have a proven, stable quota of approx. 440 tonnes per annum. across all four islands. In addition, with the support of the UK Government, we have improved the monitoring and enforcement of our EEZ".

Tristan da Cunha is entering an exciting phase in its development and needs to ensure it responsibly utilises its fishery to support this. Under the current arrangements, the operator fishes the quota, operates the factory on Tristan, generates electricity for the island and with their blue water fishing vessels, provides cargo and passenger access to the island from Cape Town. These arrangements have reliably operated for many years. However, the Island Council is interested to see what arrangements, including suitable alternatives might be possible over the next 5-10 years. Therefore, the Council is seeking Expressions of Interest from well-established fishing companies, with high quality vessel operations, producing responsibly caught products, in processes that are sustainable, protect the environment and safe.

Further Information

Full Details: Tristan da Cunha lobster: Expressions of interest invited to fish quota [PDF download]

Contact: For more information email

About Tristan da Cunha: Tristan da Cunha is a British Overseas Territory located in the middle of the South Atlantic, approx. 2,800 km / 1,750 miles from Cape Town, similar to Walvis Bay, and 3,350 km / 2,000 miles from Rio de Janeiro. It is the world's remotest community and comprises four main islands: Tristan, Nightingale, Inaccessible and Gough.

Tristan Rock Lobster (Jasus tristani) Tristan Rock Lobster (Jasus tristani) is found in and around all of the Tristan islands and is marketed as Tristan Lobster. The quota for the island of Tristan da Cunha is caught by small inshore open boats operating from Tristan and processed in the onshore EU approved factory, into three main products: Lobster Tails, whole raw and Whole Cooked Lobster. Lobster from the three outer islands Inaccessible, Nightingale and Gough are caught by ocean going fishing vessels that use daughter craft. This fabulous product is sold worldwide, including the UK, European Union, Japan, and the USA.

Closure Date for Expressions of Interest: 31st March 2024.

Fishing Season Update

From Director of Fisheries James Glass
who reviews the 2023/24 fishing season on 20th December 2023

The Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for the Tristan Islands was set as a total of 444 tonnes for the 2023-2024 fishing season by the Island Council.

TACs for the islands are as follows:

  • Inaccessible: 111 tonnes with 60% caught to date.
  • Nightingale: 95 tonnes with 56% caught to date.
  • Gough: 113 tonnes with 80% caught to date.
  • Tristan: 125 tonnes with 58% caught to date

Photo from James shows his grandson Connor in the Research RIB Jasus Tristani
when sampling fish off Nightingale Island,
showing the satellite islets of Alex or Middle Island, left and Stoltenhoff Island, right

There was a slight delay to the start of the Tristan season with the factory not being ready on the 1st July 2023.

The first fishing day of the new season was on the 27th July with 5.2 tonnes being caught. Catches so far have been excellent with ten days fishing to date, landing a total of 73 tonnes. The highest total catch landed so far by the nine local boats has been 9.2 tonnes in a single day and the most caught by a single boat 1.32 tonnes.

The fishermen are currently only using 16 traps and 32 hoop nets, and only doing daylight fishing. No gear is left overnight.

Another view of Connor aboard the Research RIB Jasus Tristani
off Nightingale Island from James.

The docking time has now been reduced to 4:00pm, to try and restrict landings, so that more whole products can be packed for the markets. A few fishing days were also lost during the time the SA Agulhas II was here as there was a bad flu virus going around.

The weather has also been terrible, lots of rain and easterly winds, resulting in only one fishing day in July, two in August and September, three in October and only one in both November and December. However, I don't foresee any problem to land the TAC of 125 tonnes before the deadline of 30th April 2024.

Chief Islander reviews start of the 2023/24 fishing season

James Glass reports on Tristan's lobster fishery
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