The Tristan Lobster fishery has received approval to import into the EU, and the first consignment will arrive by the end of October 2014.

Tristan Lobster gains access to EU Markets

See also: Where you can buy - Tristan Lobster in mainland Europe ~ Tristan Lobster Europe;
and Where you can buy Tristan Lobster in the UK ~ Tristan Lobster UK

Tristan Lobster gains access to EU Markets : First consignment of fish will arrive by the end of October 2014

Following the crucial Marine Stewardship Council award in 2011 for the Tristan da Cunha Fishery which therefore has international recognition as a high quality and sustainable resource, we are delighted to announce that in October 2014 the first Tristan da Cunha Lobster will be imported into the European Union.

Tristan's Fishing Company Ovenstone has made the following statement to celebrate the good news:

The Tristan Lobster – a flavour to savour

Rock star sashimi-grade shellfish
makes long awaited European debut

European foodies have coveted lobsters since around the 17th century, and over the 400 or so years since, chefs have developed dozens of ways to prepare this delicious shellfish.

Initially, European kitchens were using only domestic lobsters. Then, as demand grew, it became necessary to also import products from North America. But despite the demand for lobster continuing to grow, there have not been any notable arrivals in the market for decades. That is until now, with the Tristan Lobster fishery announcing ambitious plans to launch its full range into the EU market in November, including its top-selling flagship product, sashimi-grade whole raw frozen lobster.

A whole Tristan Lobster
with lemon, asparagus and salad

The Tristan Lobster makes its European debut

Chefs and retailers targeted with sashimi-grade Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified rock lobster
from the world’s most remote waters

The European shellfish market is about to be shaken up with the launch of the unique Tristan Lobster into the HoReCa (hotel, restaurant and catering) and sustainability-minded retail sectors.

The Tristan Lobster is a cold water rock lobster, caught around the remote islands of the Tristan da Cunha archipelago. This British Overseas Territory is located 1,500 miles west of Cape Town, South Africa. The species is endemic to Tristan’s four volcanic islands and has been commercially caught since 1947.

These lobsters, which are certified according to Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) sustainability standard, are a firm favourite with consumers in the US, Japanese and Australian markets, despite the annual catch averaging just 400 tonnes.

Andrew James, managing director of the sole fishing company in the Tristan Lobster fishery, says: "We are delighted that the Tristan Lobster will soon start appearing on menus throughout the EU. These are the most exceptional lobsters in every sense and while we could easily supply the entire annual harvest to our current markets, it has long been our ambition to offer our product to the European market. It is no secret that distributors across Europe have chased us for many years to do so. Now that we are finally here, we hope the market appreciates the lobsters’ unique provenance and MSC-certification alongside their superior flavour.”

Because of the remote location of the fishery and to ensure maximum food safety and shelf-life, Tristan Lobsters are only available in frozen formats. For chef convenience, these include: Whole Cooked Frozen (WCF) Lobster, Whole Raw Frozen (WRF) Lobster, Sashimi Grade WRF Lobster, Raw Frozen Lobster Tails and Raw Frozen Lobster Heads.

The market leading freezing method used with all Tristan products ensures customers receive end products of outstanding freshness, in addition to the convenience of stable pricing and year-round availability.

The full product range will be launched into the EU market in November 2014, including its top-selling flagship product, sashimi-grade whole raw frozen lobster.

Photo above shows the group of key people at the July 2011 ceremony in Cape Town when MSC status was celebrated and shows left to right: Tristan Director of Fisheries James Glass, Managing Director of Ovenstone Dr Andrew James , Dorrien Venn from Ovenstone and Tristan Factory Manager Erik McKenzie.
See also the MSC Award Page for further details.

Tristan Administrator Alex Mitham said :

'The island of Tristan da Cunha is pleased that we are able to now sell our famous Tristan Lobster within the EU. This has taken many years to achieve but customers across a key Northern Hemisphere market will now be able to appreciate this delicacy.

Tristan Lobster is an integral part to the remotest inhabited isles way of life, and it is wonderful that more people around that world can now experience and appreciate this product, and perhaps begin to discover what other specialties Tristan has to offer to the discerning customer.'

We aim to publish details of restaurants and shops which will sell Tristan Lobster as soon as they are known and invite businesses to contact us to promote their business.
A Tristan Lobster, Jasus tristani,
Crawfish or Crayfish in its pristine environment

Potential Customers can contact Jamie Angus on or phone +44 207 871 0699

Some more facts about Tristan Lobsters:

Tristan Lobsters (Jasus tristani) are caught using baited open-end lobster traps, hoop-nets and semi-cylindrical traps.

The Tristan da Cunha rock lobster fishery was independently certified as sustainable by the MSC in June 2011 and has completed three successful Annual Surveillance Audits.

The fishery lands approximately 400 tonnes of lobsters per year. This represents 75% of the islands’ economy.

The EU Accreditation of the Tristan Factory occurred in August 2013.

The Tristan Lobster fishery received approval to import into the EU in 2014.

After processing, the final products are transshipped to Cape Town for further shipment to their final markets.

To find out more visit the Fishing Section of the website.