Lever opportunities under the Aquatic Resources Management Act WA: benefit sharing, re-allocation and co-management in practise
Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) Taroona
The ARMA will become the primary legislation for the management of Western Australia’s fisheries and aquatic biological resources from 2019. The Act calls for regard to be given to the provision of social, economic and other benefits (object 2 b), once ecological sustainability is ensured (object 2 a), and will provide stakeholders with greater input into planning and management. There is a need to understand how various elements of Aquatic Resource Management Strategies (ARMS) and Aquatic Resource Use Plans (ARUPs) can be applied to progress the aspirations of all stakeholders in a timely manner. This requires the identification of clear, defined social and economic objectives to guide the management of those resources. As the operational aspects of the new Act and the instruments it enables are being developed, opportunities arise to determine: 1. How resources can be managed to provide the social and economic benefits aspired to by different users and stakeholders; and 2. How incentives for stewardship and resource sharing by and between sectors can be created and adjusted as conditions change. To realise these opportunities, a range of management options and instruments, as well as model approaches, need to be developed and explored across a range of aquatic resources (fisheries/regions). Both expert and stakeholder knowledge is required to: • identify aspirations of resource users (commercial, recreational and Indigenous, fisheries and aquaculture) and potential social and economic management objectives; • predict who will benefit, how, by how much, and at what cost to other resource users; • evaluate these arrangements and outcomes against social and economic management objectives and aspirations; and • explore potential co-management arrangements for adjusting social and economic performance through re-allocation. Based on a comparative analysis of 4 case studies, the project will generate cost-effective decision-support tools and recommendations for measuring and managing social and economic performance. These outputs will be developed for managers and direct stakeholders alike who are engaged in drafting ARMS and the subsequent ARUPs.
1. Determine social and economic aspirations of resource beneficaries, and potential social and economic objectives, for a range of case study aquatic resources
2. Evaluate the effectiveness of a range of management arrangements, including those for resource access and re/allocation, at achieving social and economic objectives and stakeholder aspirations, for a range of case study aquatic resources
3. Provide criteria for selecting social and economic objectives, management arrangements, and participatory processes, based on their effectiveness at achieving stakeholder aspirations and ARMS management objectives
4. Contribute to the capacity for co-management by trialing a range of participatory processes, and by developing decision-support and rapid assessment tools