West Coast Live Lobster
This cold water species occurs from the mouth of the Orange River on the West Coast, down to Cape Agulhas at the southern tip of Africa. Catching is by means of ring nets and short line traps at depths of between 2m to 160m in water temperatures of 9°c to 14°c. Fishing grounds extend from the inter-tidal zone to about 15km offshore. West Coast lobster was established on the American market after World War II, subsequently in Europe and during the past decade in the Far East. Vessels are generally small so as to enable the crew to operate in shallow waters and they are never at sea for more than one or two days. Once offloaded, the lobsters are kept alive in seawater tanks or stored in a cool place in baskets below deck. They are marketed in various forms – live, frozen whole cooked, whole raw frozen and raw frozen tails. Processing plants are strategically situated at Port Nolloth and Hout Bay. Products are graded accordingly to Industry and SABS standards. In order to obtain low mortality rates, live lobster is packed in Cape Town or Hout Bay by our experienced personnel at a controlled temperature packing plant. Catches are seasonal and controlled by quotas. Plants at both Hout Bay and Cape Town are HACCP approved. Frozen product is available throughout the year and live product from mid-November to end-September.