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Southern Rock Lobster (Jasus edwardsii) Photographs and Information

Also known as Rock Lobster, Red Rock Lobster and Crayfish.

Southern Rock Lobsters are distributed from northern New South Wales, south around Tasmania and across South Australia into Western Australia.

Southern Rock lobsters live in a variety of habitats on the continental shelf, in water from 1 metre to approximately 200 metres deep.

There is no evidence of mass migration of the Southern Rock Lobster, however movements of up to 89 kilometres have been reported, as well as shorter distances from inshore to deeper offshore waters.  In many location rock lobsters show little movement.

Southern Rock Lobsters are carnivorous and eat molluscs, small crustaceans - prawns, crabs & shrimp, echinoderms - starfish & sea urchins, and other benthic invertebrates (organisms that live on the bottom or in the sediment of a body of water).

Major predators of both adult and juvenile southern rock lobsters are octopus, gummy sharks, fish such as southern rock cod, flathead, wrasse, morwong, conger eels and rock ling.

Habitat:  Saltwater

Did you know?
Crayfish can crawl forward at a very slow and awkward pace but can swim backwards extremely fast to get away from predators. Their spines point  forwards to make them more streamlined for swimming and harder to grab by  predators.

Cooked southern rock lobsters on ice

lobster, southern rock lobster, australian crayfish

Southern Rock Lobster, jasus edwardsii, australian crayfish lobster, new zealand lobster
L&B Taspac - New Zealand Seafood

Southern Rock Lobster - Jasus Edwardsii
Southern Rock Lobster - Jasus Edwardsii

Picture showing where Southern Rock Lobsters are found in Australia waters


Rock Lobster, Cooked Southern Rock Lobster, Crayfish, Australian Crayfish

Scientific Name Jasus edwardsii
Location Southern Half of Australia
Season October to April
Size To 200mm carapace length.
Australian Species Code 00 703014
Taste, Texture -


Nutritional Information
For every 100 grams raw product
for Rock Lobster fillet.

Kilojoules 462 (10 calories)
Protein 21 g
Cholesterol 62 mg
Sodium 175 mg
Total fat (oil) 0.8 g
Saturated fat 33% of total fat
Monounsaturated fat 24% of total fat
Polyunsaturated fat 43% of total fat
Omega-3, EPA 46 mg
Omega-3, DHA 33 mg
Omega-6, AA 80 mg

Information about Southern Rock Lobster:

Southern Rock Lobster (Jasus edwardsii), Known commonly in Tasmania as crayfishSouthern Rock Lobster (Jasus edwardsii), Known commonly in Tasmania as crayfish, the rock lobster lives in a variety of habitats ranging from shallow rocky inshore pools out to the continental shelf. It varies in colour from the deep reddish purple of shallow water specimens to purple and creamy yellow in deeper offshore waters.

A large female rock lobster can carry up to 400,000 eggs. These ‘berried’ females are totally protected in Tasmanian waters and must be returned to the water immediately.

Young rock lobsters live alone in small cracks or crevices in rock walls or coral reefs. Larger rock lobsters can congregate in groups of fifty or more, this offers them protection from predators. During the day Rock Lobsters shelter from the sun, predators and bad weather in rock crevices (called Dens). They leave the dens at duck to hunt and eat and return just before dawn.

Female Rock Lobsters mature between 7 and 10 years and mate when they have a soft shell (that is, just after moulting). This takes place between February (in cooler waters) and June (in warmer waters).

Females prefer the largest male available to mate with and the males become very aggressive at this time. When Rock Lobsters mate, they rear up, belly to belly and then fall over with the male on his back and the female on top. The male deposits a spermatophore onto the underside of the female. The female then releases her eggs as the spermatophore breaks down and releases sperm. She spreads her tail to cover the eggs and sperm. When the eggs are released, they pass through the sperm and then attach to the long hairs under the female's tail. Fertilised eggs are carried by the female for three to five months before hatching.

The baby lobsters (larvae) hatch and swim in the open ocean for 1-1/2 to 2 years. They experience eleven different stages of change and moults during this time, with the final moult seeing it settle onto the ocean floor in a rocky area near the shore and the baby lobster now resembles an adult rock lobster in appearance and is about 5 cm long. Baby lobsters shed their shell every four to six weeks as they are growing and rapidly out-grow their shells. Adult Rock Lobsters tend to only shed one time per year.

Cooking Southern Rock Lobster:

Rocklobsters are highly sought after and therefore often highly priced. Rocklobster flesh is firm, with a sweet medium and rich taste; it retains its shape in most styles of cooking. Poached, baked or barbecued, grilled, steamed, or sliced for sashimi, rock-lobsters make an excellent seafood dish. However, guard against over-cooking or the meat will become tough and leathery. Information on how to humanely kill a lobster for cooking, nutritional information and delicious recipes using Rock Lobster, video on how to prepare Rock Lobsters.


Commercial Fishing for Southern Rock Lobster:

The commercial fishery for Southern Rock Lobster is based mainly in Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia.  The lobsters are caught in wood, cane or steel pots baited with whole fish or fish heads.  Pot shapes vary from beehive to square and rectangular.   The entrance to the pots is on the upper surface.  Pots are set in water up to 200 metres deep on suitable sea beds.  Approximately half the Southern Rock Lobster catch is exported, mainly to Japan, Taiwan and the United States of America. Lobster Fishery statistics, data and information, buyers and sellers of Rock Lobsters listed.


More links about Southern Rock Lobster and Lobster information:

Rock Lobsters - other websites, links and publications on the Southern Rock Lobster, links to other types of Lobsters including European Lobster, Homarus lobster, Maine lobster, Tropical Lobster and Spiny lobsters. Australian government Fisheries statistics links.





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