WA’s leading industry body for rock lobster fishing has launched an online system which it says will make it easier for fishers to sell their catch directly, just in time for Christmas. The Western Rock Lobster Council has launched a website where customers will be able to order and pay for lobster direct from fishers across WA. The new site is part of the Back of Boat program carried out by the council and the WA Government to sustainably sell lobster to the consumer, which has been going since 2020. Matt Taylor, chief executive of the Western Rock Lobster Council, said the system would give rock lobster fishers a more efficient means of selling their product. “We anticipate this reduction in manual administration and increased flexibility will encourage more fishers to participate in BoB sales, increase the availability and accessibility of western rock lobster in our local market, and create a better experience for customers,” he said. Dongara-Port Denison fisher Bruce Cockman of Holdfast said he thought the new system would streamline the process for buying rock lobster. “Before, you had to make a couple of calls just so you could get in touch with a fisher, now you can go through here,” he said. “It’s something we’ve been hoping for for some time.” Fellow Port Denison fisher Michael Butcher of Wahoo said he was being cautious and didn’t want to commit to the online ordering system until other fishers tested it first. “It could help make things simpler, but I think I’ll let the fishers in the city test it out first,” he said. For now, Mr Butcher said he would use his pen and paper, but an electronic system would probably be the future. “I think eventually this is the way things will go.” Fisheries Minister Don Punch said Back of Boat had been a successful program so far, and was pleased to see it progress with the new website. “They’ve helped commercial fishers sell more than 160,000 lobsters since September 2020 and created a fun way to buy fresh lobsters for the festive season and throughout the year,” he said.