The FRDC has requested the development with respect to abalone of “an application that takes a national approach to management strategy evaluation development and implementation. This should include economic, environmental, social and governance indicators.” In order to achieve this a workshop is proposed that brings together representatives from Industry, Management and Research from the abalone producing States plus other invited experts in abalone and management strategy evaluation.
There are R&D initiatives in most Australian fisheries and NZ to collect finer scale and more comprehensive data about abalone populations and fishing. These initiatives are also highlighted in the “Harvest Optimisation” and “Sustainability and Environment” investment platforms of the ACA Strategic Plan, within several Objectives including to “Establish management tools and models that enable targeted harvesting of fish to optimise market returns”. It is not yet clear how or what finer scale data will be used to generate the most informative fishery Performance Indicators, although MSE will provide the structure to assess this.
To maximize the value of outcomes from the proposed Workshop, the ACA needs to focus on the strategic direction of finer scale data collection, its incorporation into fishery Performance Indicators and their assessment through techniques such as MSE. Such a focus would allow the ACA to participate in the Workshop with a clear plan for R&D investment in these important directions.