Establishing a low risk incremental approach for setting Total Allowable Commercial Quotas (TACCs) (changing quotas) in the Western Rock Lobster Fishery, taking into account maximum economic yield and other industry objectives
Western Rock Lobster Council Inc (WRLC)
Simon de Lestang
The WRLC needs generally-accepted methods for setting the annual quota that is robust to many of the differences that exist throughout industry but underpins within an acceptable harvest range, resource sustainability. The approach to be adopted needs to take into account MEY analyses, changing price relationships in the market, known risks facing the rock lobster industry, future catch and biomass projections and limits on harvest rates. Uncertainty towards moving to a larger quota can be accommodated by adopting an iterative approach to quota setting built around better industry understanding of the market and other relevant factors. Ideally an annual quota setting process needs to be underpinned by sustainable stock conditions and take into account information derived from ongoing monitoring of market conditions and industry trends. This would enable risk factors to be taken into account balancing the competing requirements of optimising price, preventing oversupply and excessive price investment instability. The failure of Industry to reach consensus on an agreed methods for future quota setting could result in other parties setting the agenda. Preferably, as most of the financial risks fall within industry, the industry has a primary role in annual setting of quotas with a transparent accountable decision framework within an appropriate governance, reporting and dispute resolution framework (if necessary) that is supported by government and industry.
1. To develop generally-accepted methods for setting the annual TACC
2. To better predict the impact of quota changes on the performance of the Western Rock Lobster fishery.
Principle Investigator: Peter Rogers
Keywords: Western Rock Lobster, TACCs, quota, economic yield, Western Australian Department of Fisheries
Summary: This report outlines a preferred pathway for the Western Rock Lobster Council (WRLC; Council) and the Director General (CEO) of the Western Australian Department of Fisheries to advise the Minister in determining the method to be used in calculating the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) and ultimately the commercial catch (TACC) for the Western Rock Lobster Fishery within the context of new legislation; the Aquatic Resources Management Bill 2015, which is currently before the Western Australian Parliament. This includes continuing with the current practice of referral by the decision maker to the WRLC for advice on management decisions. A large part of the advice and recommendations provided focus on issues of governance for the WRLC in advising on TACC, shifting the focus to a longer time horizon in advising on TACC, bringing increased expertise to the table through a subcommittee reporting to the Council and the appointment of a market analyst to provide evidence based advice and information through trade, market and economic analyses.