The SA State Government has made a commitment to reform the Marine Scalefish Fishery (MSF) that aims to provide long-term sustainability of key stocks for both recreational and commercial fisheries, and unlock the industries economic potential. The key reforms include a voluntary buy-back scheme targeting the removal of at least 30% of commercial licences and the introduction of new zoning and quota management regulations. The timeframe for the reforms will be determined in consultation with the industry. Details on the implementation strategy have yet to be developed, but will need to be underpinned by extensive stakeholder consultation and backed by research that provides confidence that among the approaches considered, those chosen will best deliver the intent of the reforms.
This project aims to develop an SA Gulfs and Coastal ecosystem model to provide a Management Strategy Evaluation (MSE) tool to assess and optimise a range of reform scenarios. The project will link in closely with FRDC 2017/014 (Informing structural reform in the MSF), utilising many of its key outputs, including time series of spatial distribution of catch and effort, social-economic performance, and reform implementation scenarios. This project also will extend the investigation by integrating environmental time-series data to evaluate changes in productivity over time, identified as a potential factor in declining fisheries catches in the GSV ecosystem (FRDC 2013/031). Identifying the causes of productivity loss and its impact on fish production are important to resolve, especially in the context of the MSF reforms. Ultimately, the project aims to provide decision support tools to assess and evaluate the performance of diverse fisheries management strategies, and how these may perform under varying production regimes. Such an approach will provide a platform to evaluate and optimise the effectiveness of management strategies, and help ensure the fishery reforms achieve their key objectives.