The red rock lobster, also known as koura, crayfish, Jasus edwardsii
, and spiny rock lobster, is an iconic New Zealand inshore species. The Gisborne red rock lobster fishery, known as CRA 3, extends from the North Island's East Cape, south to the Wairoa River.
This fishery is shared by non-commercial and commercial fishers. Rock lobsters are valued as taonga by tangata whenua, highly sought after by recreational and commercial fishers, and support one of New Zealand's biggest seafood export earners. The catch taken from this fishery varies as a result of changing commercial catch limits and abundance of rock lobster. Unpredictable and unknown environmental factors are thought to play an important role in determining the abundance of this highly valued species.
Since 2006, the CRA 3 Multi-stakeholder Fishing Forum has discussed issues in the CRA 3 fishery and identified solutions to address these issues.