Up to 10,000 lobsters in seawater storage tanks are stuck on boats on boats and in processing facilities after China shut down its live animal trade over coronavirus fears.
In addition tonnes of lobsters (crayfish???) are stuck on airport runways as the ban on Australian seafood hits home.
Australia’s seafood industry has been thrown into crisis by the ban, with local fishermen considering a plan to return thousands of lobsters to the open waters.
The future of up to 200 tonnes of live lobster, worth tens of millions of dollars, could be in limbo, industry sources say.
China usually imports about 90 to 95 percent of locally-grown lobsters.
Prices have already dropped by up to 20 percent from $130 to $140 a kilogram in Victoria to $110 as fishers and wholesalers begin trying to offload the premium product in local retail markets.
Word out of China is that it will take six to eight weeks before things get moving again, but it is probably going to get worse before it gets better.
The industry is asking us to visit the markets and make the most of bargain-price fresh crayfish.
Lobster fishers sell their catches for about $95 a kilo.
Lobsters can be kept alive for weeks in the right storage conditions and the fisherman could return lobsters to the sea and not have the catch counted against quotas.