University of Tasmania

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Facilitating Industry Self-Management for Spatially Managed Stocks: A Scallop Case Study

posted on 2023-05-25, 02:48 authored by Harrington, JJ, Malcolm HaddonMalcolm Haddon, Jayson SemmensJayson Semmens
The principle outcome of this project has been the adoption and incorporation of the Industry-based survey data collection strategy into the spatial management framework of the Tasmanian scallop fishery. As of 2008, the key management requirements of Industrybased surveys have been incorporated into the Fisheries (scallop) rules and are also included within the key management policy documents for the fishery. The closure of the Commonwealth scallop fishery by the Minister for Fisheries for much of the time period of this project made it difficult to implement the Industry-based survey strategy within this fishery. However, the concept of Industry-based surveys and the greater flexibility that such surveys will require were documented and incorporated into the Harvest strategy for the Bass Strait Central Zone Scallop Fishery, which was completed by the CSIRO in late 2007 with assistance by TAFI scallop researchers. This document also incorporated a change in harvest strategy from a most open, little closed spatial strategy to one almost identical to the Tasmanian spatial management model. It is hoped that a fully flexible survey approach, as utilised in the Tasmanian fishery, will be adopted within the Commonwealth fishery with its re-opening. Within the Tasmanian scallop fishery, the information collected during Industry-based surveys has been fundamental for the operational decision making process, with all decisions within the fishery now being based on fisher collected data. This has benefited Industry and management in many ways. In particular, the costs of management (i.e. fisher levies) do not have to incorporate the extremely high costs of fishery scale scientific surveys. In turn, Industry, research and management can obtain and have access to fishery scale information for the management decision making process. All sectors involved with the Tasmanian fishery have aimed to incorporate technologies into the data collection process. Today, electronic measuring boards, GPS devices and depth loggers on the dredge are standard survey equipment. Survey participants are familiar with their operation. Such devices have greatly improved the amount of data that can be collected per survey day (value for money) and improved the accuracy and perceived credibility of Industry collected survey data. Industry has a vision to expand the use of technology in the survey process (see 8. Further Developments) The Tasmanian commercial scallop fishery has taken an increasing level of responsibility for the organisation and implementation of the Industry-based survey process within the Tasmanian scallop fishery. By the conclusion of this project, the TSFA had taken the role of selecting survey participants and the basic organisation and planning of surveys. This ownership of the Industry-based survey process has moved the Tasmanian scallop fishery closer to a full co-management approach, and seen the TSFA take control and ownership of otherwise traditional management operated harvest mechanisms. Of particular note, the Tasmanian scallop Industry fully own the organisation of the fine scale rolling opening harvest mechanism that operates within the legislative open area. Such strategies have ultimately maximised the quality and quantity of product taken from a known scallop resource, which in turn has maximised economic returns to fishers. The full economic benefits have yet to be completely realised, but it is hoped that further growth within the TSFA will lead to greater co-management of the Tasmanian scallop fishery and a realisation by the TSFA that economic return to fishers does not necessarily rely on high catches / TAC’s during each fishing year. It is hoped that such ownership of management processes will be incorporated into the Commonwealth fishery once re-opened.


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Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies



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Wild caught edible molluscs

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