A study is to be carried out into the economic impact of the State's commercial fisheries on the domestic economy.
Fisheries Minister Gordon Hill said the Government had adequate information about the catch value but not about its implications for employment and downstream processing.
"We know the total catch value of the commercial fisheries will be more than $350 million this year," Mr Hill said.
"But this figure tells us little about their real impact in terms of jobs and adding value to the product.
"Commercial fishing is undoubtedly a major player in regional economies, both directly as an employer and indirectly as a generator of income in support industries.
"Although the export and gross value of Western Australia's commercial fisheries is well-known, their impact throughout the local economy is poorly understood."
Mr Hill said this information was becoming increasingly important when issues of catch sharing between the various users of our fish resources were being resolved.
The study would clarify the value and volume of commercial fish catches and indicate how much fishermen spent on operating expenses compared with capital costs such as winches, navigational aids, boats and other equipment.
The study, which would cost about $36,000 and be funded by the State Government, would be carried out with the support and co-operation of the WA Fishing Industry Council.
Mr Hill said industry's co-operation would be essential to the study's success.
The study would be carried out by the WA-based company, Economic Research Associates.
The results would complement an economic impact study of recreational fishing carried out by the same company last year.