Project number: 2011-203
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $292,886.72
Principal Investigator: Paul McLeod
Organisation: University of Western Australia (UWA)
Project start/end date: 11 Sep 2011 - 11 May 2014


The WA rock lobster and finfish industries are in transition. Contraction of catches and consequent management changes have made long term economic sustainability an issue that now needs to be addressed within Integrated Fisheries Management (IFM).

Achieving this requires:

(1) An assessment of economic sustainability across all sectors in the supply chain. Decreasing volumes mean unit costs will likely rise. Rationalization will be required that reflects the optimal economic scale in catching, processing and marketing. Optimizing the supply chain processes requires a better understanding of demand and pricing in domestic and international markets, including estimates of future prices and mechanisms to encourage greater efficiencies and better pricing outcomes. An essential component of long term economic sustainability is the assessment of potential opportunities to "value add" and to increase prices received by producers through coordinated value adding and marketing activities.

(2) Industry governance, funding and management arrangements that encourage long term sustainability based on optimizing the whole of the fishery. There is a need to "audit" governance structures to determine consistency with achieving long term economic sustainability and identify opportunities to make improvements.

(3) Assembling the best available information for managers to make the application of IFM consistent with long term sustainability of all parts of the industry. The governance process (management regimes, data collection, funding, allocation) needs to be part of a long term pathway to economic sustainability.

These broad needs were indentified in discussions with Heather Brayford and Lindsay Joll at DoF. Auditing governance structures to determine an optimal structure for long term economic sustainability was recognized as the area where this project would interact positively with DoF work going on to design integrated governance and management practices across fisheries generally and these fisheries in particular. They have agreed that Dr Lindsay Joll could be nominated as a co-investigator.


1. Determine the optimal feasible strategies for sustaining industry profitability.
2. Determine the optimal Governance structure to secure regulatory objectives at least cost
3. Identify the relevant management information necessary to deliver sustainable commercial outcomes over time.

Final report

ISBN: 978-0-9756020-4-1
Author: Paul McLeod

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