Plans ensure conservation of Tristan Lobster stocks

Island Council agrees Fish Quotas for each island

Tristan Lobster Quotas agreed by Island Council

At the 349th Island Council Meeting on 10th July 2019, councillors approved the Total Allowable Catches (TAC) for 2019/2020 fishing season

Tristan da Cunha - 128.498 tonnes
Nightingale - 84.286 tonnes
Inaccessible - 92.398 tonnes
Gough - 104.226 tonnes + (12.5 tonnes for the Gough Restoration Programme) = 116.726 tonnes
Total = 421.908 tonnes

Therefore the TAC is nearly 422 tonnes of Tristan Lobster, of which just over 30% is normally caught by island-based fishing boats and processed in the Tristan Factory.

Start of the Fishing Season

There are two elements to fishing for Tristan Lobster around the islands:

  • Local boats, crewed by islanders, depart from Calshot Harbour on suitble fishing days to fish around the island of Tristan da Cunha, and return their catch to the Tristan factory for processing, freezing and storage. This season started on 1st July 2019, but, as always, winter weather often delays the arrival of the first suitable day when sea conditions are calm enough. This year, the July storm has caused damage to the factory which will delay further the first fishing day, but hopefully damage can be repaired quickly by the Ovenstone team arriving on Tristan aboard the MFV Edinburgh Relief Voyage in August.
  • The Ovenstone fishing vessel MFV Geo Searcher carries out two prolonged fishing trips to the outer islands of Inaccessible, Nightingale and Gough Islands. The ship has a fleet of small fishing vessels that catch the lobster in traps as islanders do around Tristan, the catch being returned to the Geo Searcher for processing, freezing and storage. The first fishing voyage of the new season begins when the MFV Geo Searcher departs Cape Town, presently scheduled for 16th August. This major part of the Tristan Lobster catch will be unaffected by the July 2019 storm damage.