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Last updated on April 16, 2014 at 14:08 EDT

Cape Rock Lobster

Jasus lalandii, more commonly known as the Cape Rock Lobster or West Coast Rock Lobster, is a species of spiny lobster found in the waters off the coast of Southern Africa. Although it is unknown whom the name of this species is in honor of, there have been suggestions that it may be attributed to French astronomer Jérôme Lalande.

Cape Rock Lobster are rocky bottom dwellers generally in shallow waters, but have been found in waters as deep as 150 feet. They range along the coast of South Africa from Cape Cross, Namibia to Algoa Bay, South Africa, straddling the Cape of Good Hope.

Lengths of this crustacean reach up to 18 inches, with 7 inches reserved for the carapace alone. It is a popular seafood favorite, with over 6,500 tons being captured yearly in lobster pots and hoop nets. The Republic of South Africa allocates individual fishing quotas to fishermen and companies in the amount of 1,700 tons in effort to avoid overfishing. Further attempts to prevent depletion of this species include the issuing of a closed season from June 1st to November 15, a size limit of the carapace equaling 3.5 inches, and a ban on capturing females which are incubating their eggs.

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Cape Rock Lobster