Certifier : 
Control Union (UK) Limited
Certified status : 
Certified since : 
20 Jun 2011
Certificate expires : 
14 Jun 2022


This fishery was first certified as sustainable in June 2011. It’s located in the South Atlantic, around the Tristan da Cunha islands (Tristan da Cunha, Gough, Nightingale, Inaccessible) and Vema Seamount. 

These islands – the most remote inhabited archipelago in the world – are the only places where the Tristan rock lobster is found. They are  volcanic and rise from abyssal depths to the surface, thus separating benthic populations associated with each island. The species occurs on rocky substrata from the shore down to a depth of around 200m.

Three types of gear are used in the fishery: box traps, monster traps and hoop nets. Box traps are deployed from small boats around all four islands, hoop nets are deployed from powerboats at Tristan only, and monster traps are deployed from the MFV Geo Searcher at the three outer islands (not Tristan). 

A standard mesh size of 70mm is used on all the traps. All three gear types are open – i.e. lobster entering the traps can also exit at will by the same opening. There is therefore no risk of ghost fishing by lost traps, and no need for escape gaps to release undersized lobster.