Project number: 2006-040
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $313,809.00
Principal Investigator: Gregory Jenkins
Organisation: Agriculture Victoria
Project start/end date: 30 Jul 2006 - 31 Jul 2009


The Victorian Abalone Fishery Management Plan (VAFMP) includes indices of ecosystem health amongst its suite of trigger reference points for management of the fishery. However, such indices do not currently exist and the VAFMP lists the development of robust environmental sustainability indicators and interactions between abalone and other benthic competitors and predators as habitat and ecology research priorities.

In 2003/04 PIRVic completed a review of literature concerned with ecological interactions between abalone and other reef biota (Jenkins, 2004). There was a paucity of information describing ecological effects of abalone removals and no clear potential performance indicators could be identified from this review. Victoria’s Fisheries and Aquaculture Research and Development Strategy 2005-2010 includes the following needs in relation to Ecosystem Based Fishery Management; “Development of meaningful and practicable ecosystem indicators, reference points and performance measures for key species and fisheries”, and, “Determination of trophic relationships within key commercial and recreational fisheries”, and, “assessment of the ecological impacts of fishing, particularly as identified in management plans”.

This project is required to fully implement the VAFMP and will also assist in satisfying the criteria for fisheries sustainability assessment established by the Department of Environment and Heritage under the Environment Protection & Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cwlth) (EPBC Act). The present EPBC Act exemption expires in 2008. The proposed work will help fulfil the requirements under the management plan and also the EPBC Act.


1. To determine whether any components of the reef ecosystem are dependent on abalone by monitoring the reef ecosystem in areas of predictable change in abalone abundance
2. To investigate the possible dependencies of predatory fish on abalone prey
3. To identify whether there are ecological indicators of abalone depletion that potentially could be used to detect ecological impacts
4. To assist Fisheries Victoria in implementing Ecosystem Based Fisheries Management (EBFM) policy in Victoria
5. To provide ecological information that will satisfy the Commonwealth requirements for this export industry

Final report

ISBN: 978-1-74217-916-2
Author: Gregory Jenkins

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