Project number: 2005-024
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $525,531.00
Principal Investigator: Robert W. Day
Organisation: University of Melbourne
Project start/end date: 29 Jun 2005 - 29 Jul 2009


There is abundant scientific evidence that micro-management of abalone fisheries is needed (see B2) and state management plans, R&D priorities, etc. (e.g. NSW FMP, Newman & Smith 2001, Victoria’s ENRIC 2002) and FRDC’s Needs Review (MacArthur Agribusness 1999) recognize this. State financial resources are - and under cost recovery in each state will remain - insufficient to support assessment and management of individual reef-stocks. This project proposes the alternative: to empower industry stakeholders with assessment tools and processes for collaboration to achieve management outcomes. Collaboration between industry and management agencies, and tools to monitor and evaluate the industry management process are also needed. This project also addresses national R&D priorities for people development to create an innovative industry culture and for “collective industry strategic thinking and cohesion” (Needs Review)

Empowerment of industry will also address the strategic priority for more participatory co-management of the resource (e.g. SA 2002-7 R&D plan) and inclusive ownership of management decisions. Industry participation is a priority in most states (e.g. Newman & Smith 2001). Industry associations have committed to addressing reef-stock management (see B2), but we must underpin industry initiatives with the required biological information, modeling and collaboration tools, so reef-scale assessment and management processes can be accepted by state and federal management agencies as a secure basis for sustainable management, in accordance with the provisions of the EPBC Act 1999. FRDC’s Needs Review identified the “lack of spatial methodologies and modeling tools” as a substantial risk to the industry. We can build on extensive previous research (see B2) to progressively understand and model the relationship between fishing and reef-stock production. This will encourage future integration of state zonal management processes with the industry reef-scale process.

This addresses FRDC Program 1, Strategies 1, 6, 7, 9; Program 3, Strategies 1, 2; and the FRDC concern for “end-user” involvement.


1. Develop, evaluate and document the Reef Assessment approach in Victoria, South Australia and NSW.
2. Test and validate the biological assumptions underlying the Reef Assessment Workshops.
3. Establish base-line (Year 0) measurements that provide a basis for predictions, and will provide the basis for a powerful long term (10-20 year) study of the level of parental breeding stock required to optimize long term production
4. Specify an Internet site template that provides industry with a facility for timely access to information and an avenue for feedback that reduces the delay between observations of reef-scale events and required adjustments in management strategy.
5. Build a simulation framework based on selected reef stocks, which will facilitate consistency in the synthesis and analysis of the performance of individual reefs
6. Facilitate, develop and document local scale co-management by industry organizations through collaborative workshop processes.
7. Develop and test a training syllabus for abalone divers, covering abalone biology and stock dynamics, the use of indicators, and how they relate to stock assessment.

Final report

Related research


Western Abalone Divers Association 2020 Quota Setting Workshop: Opportunity for shared understanding of potential TACC setting processes by Western Australian Abalone stakeholders

1. Establish an industry engagement strategy for the WA Area 3 Abalone Fishery based on the approach used, and knowledge gained, by the Victorian Western Zone Fishery and the Western Abalone Divers Association.
Western Australian Fishing Industry Council Inc (WAFIC)