University of Tasmania
Regional Impact Assessment for the Marine Protected Areas proposed for the South-East Region.pdf (4.14 MB)

Regional Impact Assessment for the Marine Protected Areas proposed for the South-East Region

Download (4.14 MB)
posted on 2023-05-25, 02:09 authored by Colin BuxtonColin Buxton, Malcolm HaddonMalcolm Haddon, Bradshaw, MB
On the 14 December 2005 the Australian Government announced detailed proposals for the establishment of an extensive network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the South-east Region of Australia. The 14 candidate MPAs would cover more than 170,000 square kilometres of Commonwealth waters off Tasmania, Victoria, southern New South Wales and eastern South Australia. Simultaneously, the Australian Government’s fisheries management reform, including substantial reductions in Total Allowable Catch (TAC) and the purchase of fishing licenses to remove effort from over fished fisheries, was extended to fishers – both Commonwealth and State licensed – who were affected by the creation of the MPA network. By running a single adjustment package it was reasoned that affected businesses need only go through one adjustment process (rather than two), and businesses in the South-east Region would not face a series of changes over several years. The gross value of fisheries production from the South-east Region, at over $500 million per annum, represents an estimated 23% of the total gross value of Australian fisheries production. At the time of the announcement of the proposed MPA network, the boundaries of only two candidate MPAs within the 11 Broad Areas of Interest (BAOIs) had been discussed in any detail with the fishing industry. The Australian Government had brought forward the release of the proposed MPA network so that fishermen could make decisions about their future in the full knowledge of their operating environment – knowing the full extent of proposed exclusions from MPAs as well as knowing how their fisheries would be managed. This report investigates the considerable impacts that these announcements pose for the fishing industry in the South-east Region and the considerable socio-economic implications for individual fishers who fish within the proposed areas, for entire fisheries, and on the overall supply of seafood to the Australian consumer. On the understanding from the Commonwealth Department of Environment and Heritage (DEH), that the proposed areas were negotiable, Industry and management agencies believed the most appropriate response was to characterise and validate the impacts and make a scientifically defensible case for alternatives such as boundary changes or alterations to the proposed MPA classifications. These alternatives were designed to minimise the impacts on the fishing industry while at the same time not eroding the conservation values of the proposed MPA network in the region. A key component of the study was to provide defensible estimates of catch displacement, sociological impacts and economic impacts, recognising the limitations imposed by a relatively short time frame. In the State-based fisheries the overall displacement of catch was estimated as 4027t per annum (2000-2005). Only a few species appeared likely to be adversely affected by the proposed network of MPAs and only four of the candidate MPAs were reported to have significant displaced catches. These were the Murray (rock lobster), Zeehan (giant crab), Tasman Fracture (rock lobster & scalefish) and Banks Strait (scallop, rock lobster, giant crab and scalefish). The estimated Gross Value of Product (GVP) displaced was $6.4 million per annum. The most significant impact was on the Tasmanian scallop fishery where an estimated 4,000t would be lost each year. The paddock based spatial management system would be severely disrupted and possibly cease to work. Effectively this sustainable fishery accredited under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act would be lost and scalloping would return to an uncertain “boom and bust” future. Fisheries for rock lobster were also impacted, especially off Kangaroo Island and off St Helens where localised displacements of catch were capable of causing a disruption to stock re-building strategies and/or serial depletion as a result of displaced fishing effort.In the State-based fisheries th


Commissioning body

FRDC 2005/083, 198pp






Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


FRDC 2005/083, 198pp

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Natural hazards not elsewhere classified

Usage metrics

    University Of Tasmania


    Ref. manager