King Island Accommodation Crayfish/Rock Lobster
A well-established Cray Fishing Fleet drop their pots around King Island and return to the wharf with a full hull of prime King Island Crayfish. This is no picnic or holiday for these tough fishermen who are out there daily facing the harsh elements of the infamous Bass Strait.
The majority of the fishing fleet depart and return from Currie and Grassy harbours where wharf facilities and protected, sheltered anchorages are on offer. The biggest proportion of the fishing fleet operates from the Currie Harbour, with a lesser number operating from the Grassy Harbour.
Naracoopa on the East Coast has no fishing fleet but the boats often anchor there in Sea Elephant Bay if the weather looks like it may become a little rough. Naracoopa does have its own Jetty but it’s used mainly for recreational fishing.
If you happen to be on a King Island holiday, it’s always pleasant to walk along the wharf and say g’day to the friendly fishermen as they go about their jobs, often they’ll stop for a bit of a yarn.
The Rock Lobster industry is a viable local industry and employs a fair percentage of the island’s population. This amazing industry brings in approximately $20 million to the community yearly. King Island Rock Lobster or Crayfish (whatever is your preference) has a reputation for being the largest and best in the country. A quota system protects the cray fishing industry and seasonal closures are rigorously adhered to. The female lobster cannot be taken between May and mid-November, and the whole industry closes down from mid-September until November annually. These measures must be strictly observed to ensure that breeding stock can safely support and dispatch their eggs and thereby securing the future viability of the industry. Rock Lobster is sold onto the live export market via Victorian processors.
We here at King Island Accommodation Cottages are often asked how to go about procuring a Cray, either fresh, cooked, or as a meal from a restaurant. Regardless of whatever your situation you will need to order at least one day in advance as no stock is held; this ensures that you will always get fresh produce.
However, there is another way of getting hold of a Cray, why not try an award winning Crayfish pie from the King Island Bakehouse, my mouth’s watering just thinking about it while writing this.
Crayfish can be taken in season for recreational purposes but you must first obtain the relevant permits.