Jon Ford

Jon Ford

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

    Major rock lobster review raises options for future management of the industry

    17/01/2006 1:00 AM

    Four review papers have been released today which will play a vital part in future decisions about management of the State’s iconic and highly valuable rock lobster fishery.

    Fisheries Minister Jon Ford said the strategic review of the fishery, which began four years ago, was now at a very important stage, and the papers provided comprehensive assessments of options to keep the industry successful and sustainable.

    “The commercial West Coast Rock Lobster Fishery is the most valuable single species fishery in Australia, which earned an estimated $260million for Western Australia last season with a catch of 12,062 tonnes,” Mr Ford said.

    "WA’s rock lobster industry is not only important to the State’s economy, it is the backbone of many coastal communities.

    “The papers examine the advantages and disadvantages of effort control and quota management systems, and an assessment of social impacts of the various options.”

    Mr Ford said independent researchers had prepared two of the review papers.

    All four papers can be viewed on, or downloaded from, the Department of Fisheries website and a series of industry-led public meetings will begin next month to discuss the long-term sustainability of the fishery.

    “Experience from other countries and other Australian States has also been assessed as part of the areas of study covered by the papers,” the Minister said.

    “The review papers will help WA’s rock lobster fishery stakeholders to assess the relative costs and benefits of the three different management scenarios being contemplated - the current system, a modified effort control model, or quotas.

    “In order to hold on to our State’s reputation for having one of the best managed fisheries in the world, we need to be sure our future management is ecologically responsible in meeting social and economic objectives.

    “I hope all stakeholders examine the new review papers and take part in the upcoming public meetings about the future management of WA’s rock lobster resources.”

    Minister's office: 9213 7200