Fisheries Infosite

Fishery - Red Rock Lobster (all stocks)

Key statistics
Recreational significance High
Customary significance High
Environmental importance High
Reported commercial catch1 (tonnes)
Quota value estimate2 (NZ$m)
Exports estimate2 (NZ$m)
1 Reported commercial catch is calculated for the 12 month period to 30/09/2025
2 Quota value and exports are calculated pro-rata to reported commercial catch for the 12 month period to 30/09/2025
Related links

Species photo for Lobster.tiff.jpgThe red rock lobster, also known as koura, crayfish, Jasus edwardsii, and spiny rock lobster, is an iconic New Zealand inshore species.

In New Zealand, the red rock lobster is found from the Three Kings Islands in the north to the Auckland Islands in the south to the Chatham Islands in the east.  They are also found on shallower seamounts to about 300m throughout the Exclusive Economic Zone.

Red rock lobsters are valued as taonga by tangata whenua, are highly sought after by recreational and commercial fishers, and support one of New Zealand's biggest seafood export earners.  Since 1990, all lobster fisheries have been managed within the Quota Management System and catch limits have applied.  There are currently ten rock lobster (CRA) quota management areas, however CRA 10 is purely administrative with no fishing occcuring there.

Since 1992, a multi-stakeholder group, the National Rock Lobster Management Group (NRLMG), has discussed and provided annual advice to the Minister on matters relating to lobster fisheries.