Then there was the gourmet's nightmare - the Government-approved lobster traps, which allow almost all their prey to escape, as revealed by researchers using an underwater video camera.
And there's Western Australia's world-leading method for predicting and managing rock lobster populations - a shining example of cooperation between scientists, managers and fishers.
These are among the many insights into the mysterious life of nature's most delectable crustacean, the lobster, in a new book from CSIRO Publishing. Lobster Biology and Management is a special issue of the journal of Marine & Freshwater Research, containing the proceedings of the 6th International Conference on lobster biology and management.
The lobster mass-suicides were reported by a South African scientist, Dr Andrew Cockroft. Five have been observed in recent years, involving the stranding of an estimated total of 2263 tonnes of lobsters!
They were triggered by 'red tides' - massive blooms of toxic dinoflagellates - which deplete the oxygen in the deeper waters, forcing the desperate crustaceans into a 'last gasp' migration into the shallows where they are stranded by the tide. Anxious researchers rescued several tonnes of lobsters and trucked them along the coast to an unaffected area where they were released back into the sea.
The 'trap that wasn't' was discovered by US scientists studying the behaviour of lobsters in traps, using a video camera.
It turned out the lobsters were a lot smarter than the people who designed the traps - only 6 per cent of those that entered were actually caught, while 94 per cent got away. And those that actually entered the trap were only 4 per cent of all the lobsters that approached it!