Australian rock lobster fisheries, similar to their New Zealand counterparts, are under continuing pressure to forfeit access to fishing grounds and to shares of available yields as a consequence of a well organised and resourced marine protection lobby and opportunistic political decision making. In recent seasons the situation for the Australian lobster industries has been made more difficult because of Federal Government marine protected area agendas and difficulties in brokering direct export to the lucrative China market. Industry capacity that might otherwise be committed to improving reputation and efficiency and promoting economic growth and investment has instead been diverted to protecting existing access and utilisation opportunities. The rock lobster industries will directly and indirectly benefit from cooperative approaches to current and emerging challenges (including that of an oversupply of product) and from collaborative efforts to agree and implement growth and consolidation strategies based on good science and credible decision making. The 'sharing of knowledge' which is a feature of each Lobster Congress draws greater numbers of industry participants into agreed work plans and creates wider understanding and awareness across the industries as to the need for responsible fishing, strategic responses to external forces, and wise and credible political lobby and positive profiles within the wider community
Project number: 2014-239
Budget expenditure: $24,966.09
Principal Investigator: Matt H. Taylor
Organisation: Western Rock Lobster Council Inc (WRLC)
Project start/end date: 1 Dec 2014 - 19 Jun 2015
1. Rock lobster industries willing to share information and expertise in pursuit of cost effective and timely outcomes for collaborative research, harvest and market initiatives
2. Rock lobster industries which are equipped to present consistent and positive messages about industry performance against credible standards.
3. Rock lobster industries which provide safe working environments, career pathways and employment opportunities as components of their contributions to local, regional and national economies.
4. Rock lobster industries equipped to make credible responses to challenges from environmental NGOs, animal rights and other community groups intent on eliminating or constraining commercial fishing access and opportunity.
5. Rock lobster industries which are able to agree and implement codes of responsible fishing consistent with the rights and responsibilities associated with rights-based management regimes.