Jon Ford

Jon Ford

Minister for Employment Protection; Regional Development; Fisheries; the Kimberley, Pilbara and Gascoyne

    New fisheries management model a step closer

    11/04/2005 12:00 AM

    Fisheries Minister Jon Ford today released the first of a series of reports that will help guide the future sustainable management of WA’s fish resources.

    The ‘Integrated Fisheries Management: Western Rock Lobster Resource’ report is a first step in the implementation of the innovative Integrated Fisheries Management (IFM) model.

    “IFM addresses the growing competition for fish resources between commercial, recreational and indigenous fishers,” Mr Ford said.

    “The IFM approach involves setting a sustainable harvest for fish stocks and then making an explicit harvest allocation to each of the user groups.

    “Each sector - commercial, recreational and indigenous - is then managed within its allocation.”

    The Minister said the new report was a significant reference document in the IFM process, as it included comprehensive background information on the western rock lobster resource.

    “For example, the report expresses the sustainable harvest level, a prerequisite for determining the catch allocation, at an acceptable catch range of between 9,500 and 15,000 tonnes of rock lobster per annum,” he said.

    “The report will be invaluable for those preparing submissions to the Integrated Fisheries Allocation Advisory Committee (IFAAC).”

    The allocation advisory committee expects to release an interim position paper around July, outlining a framework for allocating the western rock lobster catch.

    The same process will follow later this year for the abalone fishery and in early 2007 for finfish resources, with work currently under way to determine the sustainable harvest levels for both of those fisheries.

    “The challenge for the committee is to provide me with recommendations on allocations to the sectors which provide the optimal benefit to the community from the use of fish stocks, while also taking account of economic, social, cultural and environmental factors to ensure our fisheries are managed sustainably for the future,” Mr Ford said.

    The Western Rock Lobster Resource report can be downloaded from the Department of Fisheries website: or by calling (08) 9482 7333.

    Minister's office: 9425 4200