Project number: 2016-213
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $158,500.00
Principal Investigator: Julian Morison
Organisation: Econsearch Pty Ltd
Project start/end date: 30 Jun 2016 - 28 Dec 2017


Fisheries management decision making involves a complex mix of biological, economic and social considerations. Formal harvest strategies have been developed for many fisheries across Australian fisheries management jurisdictions over the past decade, as a way of establishing a formal and structured framework to make management decisions, to achieve biological stock sustainability. When these harvest strategies (or other fishery management decision making processes) have incorporated the use of economic information, it has traditionally been based on the use of complex and expensive bio-economic models to pursue maximum economic yield (MEY) management targets.

There is a need to identify and explore more cost-effective and efficient ways to incorporate economic information in harvest strategies and decision making processes that aim to achieve MEY. The report on FRDC project 2010/061 on the National Guidelines to Develop Fishery Harvest Strategies (Sloan et al. 2014) identified this as a gap that requires further work.

A range of concepts, including the Fishery Gross Margin approach used in the South Australian pipi fishery harvest strategy, will be investigated and then trialled in a number of other commercial fisheries to test their robustness and practicality for use in a wider set of fishery management applications. It is proposed that a set of fisheries are used as case studies to explore this wider application. These will include up to three state managed fisheries in South Australia. This project will also consider other management measures that would be able to deliver improved outcomes towards achieving MEY in the case studies (e.g. measures such as temporal limitations on abalone harvest to maximise yield and minimise the number of abalone harvested, as per FRDC project 2015-017).


1. The development of cost effective techniques to incorporate economic considerations into harvest strategies.
2. The preparation of a check list/self-assessment tool to guide fisheries managers in determining whether or not a fishery is suitable for economic modelling using one of the cost effective techniques developed as part of the project.
3. The development of a practical User Guide for fisheries managers that contains a set of steps to develop a cost effective economic model, adjust the model, collect necessary data, and generate results for practical application in relevant fishery's harvest strategy.

Final report

ISBN: 978-0-646-82238-9
Author: Julian Morison
Final Report • 2022-04-01


The aim of this project was to develop a set of economic analysis guidelines for use at an individual fishery level to aid harvest strategy and other fisheries management decisions. The project sought to demonstrate how economics can be incorporated in fisheries management frameworks in lower value fisheries, with less resources to collect and model economic data than would be required to develop a full bioeconomic model. 

Three case studies were part of this work. These allowed for the creation of a fisheries management checklist and user guide which examined the types of calculations and considerations necessary in partial budgeting and discounted cash flow approaches.

This work builds on FRDC project 2010-061 National Guidelines to Develop Fishery Harvest Strategies. 

More information: Julian Morison

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