Project number: 2014-200
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $121,785.00
Principal Investigator: Andrew & Renae Tobin
Organisation: James Cook University (JCU)
Project start/end date: 4 Jun 2014 - 29 Jan 2016


The proposed project responds to QFRAB Research Priority IV – Improve the relevance and quality of the data collected to underpin effective science based management of Queensland fisheries.

Traditionally fisheries data moved in a single direction, with fishers collecting data that are used by researchers and managers to manage fishers’ activities within sustainable long-term goals. Historically this was a sound system that informed the management of fisheries and enabled the development of suitable management objectives and tools (input and output controls).

A paradigm shift has occurred with contemporary fisheries data being utilised for multiple purposes other than QDAFF core business management and includes conservation objectives (EPBC Act), marine spatial planning, third party accreditation's, impact assessments and resource allocation. Not surprisingly, the quality and relevance of data collected is increasingly being questioned by all stakeholders. Given this notable shift in the interest and demands on fisheries data, it is timely that new and novel data and data collection methods are investigated, and existing systems are reviewed and improved to better meet contemporary needs. Further, increasing distrust of fisheries data by stakeholders is a significant hurdle in monitoring, assessing and managing fisheries. Concerns about the accuracy of commercial logbook data and catch estimates derived from recreational diary and phone surveys persist. Options for empowering all fishery stakeholders in the design of collection methods, data ownership and utility of data beyond core business requirements need to be explored to improve data quality and stewardship, and confidence in assessments/analyses that utilise these data.


1. Complete an expertise-based critique of historical fisheries data collection methods evaluating data robustness, identifying data gaps and improvement areas.
2. Identify contemporary and future data needs and develop novel candidate collection methods using the Queensland line and crab fisheries as case studies.
3. From Obj 2 highlight generic data improvements transferable to other fisheries.
4. Complete a cost-benefit review of data collection options.

Final report

ISBN: 978-0-9954470-2-8
Author: Andrew Tobin

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