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Live Lobsters Delivery from Ocean to Table

Updated on June 26, 2011

Fishing for Lobsters or Crayfish has been done by very resilient men of the sea over the last century.  These men need to have nerves of steel to go out day after day often in cyclonic weather in their search for live crustaceans for us to enjoy eating.


Many of these men have been lost their lives gigantic seas wash them overboard. Others may have made the fatal mistake of placing their foot inside the rope as the pots are thrown overboard.  If this happens the weight of the pot drags the fishermen over the side and down into the sea without time to unravel the rope from around his leg before losing consciousness.


There are other Crustacians - Yabbies

Early days of fishing was hard

 In the early days they started by spearing them from shore then in Australia around the 1950’s they went out  loaded with pots, ropes and floats all loaded onto a small dinghy.  They would bait the pots and drop them off then come in and load up and repeat this process over and over again until all pots were set.


These were not just set a few meters of shore they were taken out beyond the reefs along the coastline of Western Australia.  I know as I used to watch my husband do this day after day.  The season usually started on the 15th of November and finished in August although we finished early in May.  

You have to realize that there was not much room on a dinghy to pull up a large cray or lobster pot.  Empty it out, size the crays and throw the pot over again. Sometimes they would get a surprise when they pulled it up. They used to find shellfish, sharks, octopus all in there trying to eat the bait.  We used to keep the small Wobbygong (carpet) sharks.  We found these little blighters when you grabbed them by the tail they could still bite you.  They had to return the undersize (cackas) and female lobsters back to the ocean.


Where do Crayfish and Lobsters Live?


They live in the reefs and in rocky areas or out deep in the coral reefs. There are many different types of lobsters deep sea ones can be different to the ones found close to shore like the coral ones.  There is also the green crayfish.


Larger boats


Later the boss bought a twenty eight foot boat which made life easier.  The boat would be moored off the shore then they still used the dinghy to get back and forth to the shore.  This meant they had to travel further and longer days fishing in deeper water.   I remember thinking one day that their boat had sank because it disappeared.  I was promptly told they had gone over the horizon, and that they were ok.


Our men used to get up about two am in the mornings and were often still out till two or three o’clock in the afternoon.  This was done in all sorts of weather day in and day out.  Some days they would call it as a non fisher; this meant it was really rough weather. One day it came up really bad and we were told that it was hopeless that we would not see them again. I was frantic, but luckily they were wrong.  My husband skipper was not in the navy for nothing.  Evidently his experience saved them.



Live Lobster delivery and exports

Once the crayfish or lobster were caught and bagged they were then taken into town to the local fisheries co-op.  There they were processed mainly by local women. Many are transported to the nearest port for live lobster delivery and exports.


The skippers on all boats had to have a skipper’s ticket and also had a fishing license which regulated the amount of pots they could use.  Over the years this pot license number has been reduced.  So not are they only fighting the elements of the weather, the moon (no fish caught on the full moon) they also have to contend with new rules and regulations.


Types of Pots


Most pots were made of cane in the early days.  Then they started making slat pots. They are both still used in the fishing industry today.


From ocean to the dinner table

If you are lucky enough to be able to procure live crustaceans it would be far better and then you will know there is no danger in eating them. It is very important when buying any kind of fish or crustaceans to make sure they are fresh. No matter how food poinsoning is contracted it is not good.


If lobsters are still alive, place in cold water until you have time to prepare a large pot of water. Make sure the pot is large enough to submerge the lobster in. Add a tablespoon of salt to pot and bring to the boil. Quickly place the lobsters in water when boiled. Bring back to boil then cook for seven minutes.

Strain water off when cool. Now it is time to remove the meat from the lobster and the main thing is not to waste any of this precious meat. You need to twist off the tail section (this is the meatiest part) then remove meat. Make sure to crack all the claws as these are very tasty. Many people break end of claws and then suck the meat out from the smaller legs.

Flavor this with salt and pepper and then eat to your heart’s content. Of course you may want to make a Lobster Mornay, but that detracts from the real flavor of the lobster in my opinion.

which type of seafood do you like best

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    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      8 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      2patricias, Yes we watched the trawlerman (I think from scotland) and they said they lost about 30 boats and I think nine men last year through the weather etc.

      So yes it is a very dangerous way to earn money. And scary for people waiting for them to come back home. Thanks for commenting

    • 2patricias profile image


      8 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      We are very lucky to live by the sea. There is a local fishing co-op about 3 miles from where we live, and we can buy very fresh fish there.

      Living this close to the sea gives us enormous respect for fishermen, as we know a lot about weather.

      Thanks for an interesting hub.

    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      8 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Beats me, thanks for that, yes they sure are great to eat.

    • BeatsMe profile image


      8 years ago

      I don't know anything about fishing for lobsters but I do know how to eat 'em. ;) They're delicious. Nice hub.

    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      8 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      lctod, thanks for that linda, It is a hard and dangerous way to earn a living. thanks for reading.

    • lctodd1947 profile image


      8 years ago from USA

      Eileen this is interesting history and informtion for anyone, like me who knows nothing about how this works. Thank you for sharing this with all of us.

      Great hub


    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      8 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Support med, Be like some of the others and buy the ones already cooked saves you the trouble. And simpler, thanks for reading this.

    • Support Med. profile image

      Support Med. 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      Very informative! I'm glad your husband had the experience necessary to stay alive! I have never eaten lobster. I keep saying one day I'll try it, but when I think about them before they are cooked, I always change my mind, LOL! However, because of your instructions, I'll know how to cook them should I find the courage to do so!

    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      8 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Kowality, Lucky you having that, yum

      Moulik mistry, yes I do now but never used to.

      Fish tiger, you have the right idea, why cook if you dont have to dont blame you for that.

    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      8 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Betsyicks, thanks for reading

      valeriebelew, yes we did then while fishing north of perth and now south of perth on coast. No more fishing though.

      Ethel, Our dog used to eat it and we didnt. weird eh.

    • fishtiger58 profile image


      8 years ago from Momence, Illinois

      Great hub, I have never cooked my own lobster but as expensive as they are I think I will leave that up to the cooking experts and pay them to feed me. LOL thanks for a great read.

    • Moulik Mistry profile image

      Moulik Mistry 

      8 years ago from Burdwan, West Bengal, India

      Delicious! I love lobsters very much...

    • kowality profile image


      8 years ago from Everywhere

      We are having Lobster tonight. Well...I'm having lobster. My wife is allergic to shellfish. Thank you Eileen

    • ethel smith profile image

      Ethel Smith 

      8 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      I've never tried Lobster. I must admit I love crab but find the boiling alive a little off putting

    • valeriebelew profile image


      8 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA

      Interesting hub; you must live on the coast. I can also see that you begin writing early, as I do. I would not have known this much about fishing, without the help of your writing. Thanks for sharing.

    • BetsyIckes profile image


      8 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Nice hub!


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