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A Bayesian model of factors influencing Indigenous participation in the Torres Strait tropical rocklobster fishery

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-19, 08:08 authored by Elizabeth Van PuttenElizabeth Van Putten, Lalancette, A, Bayliss, P, Dennis, D, Hutton, T, Norman-Lopez, A, Pascoe, S, Plaganyi, E, Skewes, T
The tropical rocklobster fishery in the Torres Strait, based on the species Panulirus ornatus, is currently managed by input controls. The Australian Commonwealth government's aim is to transition to a quota management system (QMS) for this fishery. The fishery is complex in terms of international boundaries, multiple jurisdictions and management objectives regulating a mix of commercial and traditional indigenous fishers and a commercial non-indigenous sector. One key objective is to promote indigenous fisher participation to meet their aspirations of achieving a greater control of the region's fisheries resources. A Bayesian Network analysis has been applied that considers the variability in participation of indigenous fishers under key economic and socio-cultural drivers, such as the availability of a government employment program, lobster prices, social capital and capacity, and infrastructure availability. The model identifies three distinct indigenous fisher groups: full-time, active part-time, and casual lobster fishers. Scenario analyses suggest that changes in the government employment program will have a substantial impact on the relative proportion of fishers in these groups. Similarly, changes in the provision of logistics, infrastructure, and building social capital and capacity are expected to have a significant impact on the occurrence of full-time fishing. As the Commonwealth has an obligation under the Torres Strait Treaty to protect the traditional way of life and livelihood of Islanders as well as promoting employment opportunities for Traditional Inhabitants, it is important that management authorities consider both the effect of management changes for the fishery as a whole and for each indigenous fisher group separately.


Publication title

Marine Policy








Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Elsevier Sci Ltd

Place of publication

The Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford, England, Oxon, Ox5 1Gb

Rights statement

& 2012 ElsevierLtd

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Wild caught rock lobster

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