Project number: 2020-029
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $201,212.00
Principal Investigator: Caleb Gardner
Organisation: University of Tasmania
Project start/end date: 30 Jun 2021 - 29 Jun 2022


Individual Transferable Quotas (ITQs) and Individual Transferable Effort (ITE) systems have been introduced to a wide range of Australian fisheries (FRDC 2017-159). Since 1985, forty-six ITQs have been introduced to a range of fisheries and can be found across all jurisdictions in Australia; six ITEs have also been introduced, mainly in prawn trawl fisheries. Such systems allocate shares or portions of a total allowable catch (TAC), or total allowable effort (TAE), between fishers, vessels, communities, or others with an interest in the fishery.

Experience shows that ITQs as generally designed and implemented have not always fully delivered promised outcomes, have had outcomes that were unintended and unwanted, and in some instances have resulted in outcomes that make it difficult for fisheries managers to deliver against other, in many cases non-economic, objectives of fisheries management. In some instances, these unintended and unwanted consequences may also have been inappropriately attributed to the ITQs/ITEs and may more be down to other drivers such as globalisation or changes in stock abundance.

Building on industry and management’s growing interest in improving ITQ-fishery outcomes (SRL Corporatisation Workshop, Melbourne Airport, October 2019) and on the findings of 2017-159, this work will aim to provide evidence-based advice to managers and industry on options to address any performance gaps or unintended and unwanted consequences, and the potential effects of any proposed interventions on the economic, social and environmental outcomes of ITQs as generally implemented in Australian fisheries. The scope of options will include industry-led private sector initiatives, as well as Government-led changes to management.


1. Assess the effects of adoption and ongoing management of ITQs including consequences that flow from ITQs and the effects of the adoption on specific performance indicators.
2. Develop adaptive management options for existing ITQs that will assist in managing the impact of unintended and unwanted consequences.
3. Better support managers in planning for the mitigation and management of unintended and unwanted consequences over time, including the cost of implementing change.
4. Provide options to fishery managers and stakeholders to assist in the adjustment of existing fisheries management under ITQs to avoid, or mitigate, unintended and unwanted consequences and/or enhance unintended but positive consequences.


Author: FRDC
Plan • 2023-09-29 • 239.48 KB


Following the Improving performance of ITQ fisheries Forum on September 28, 2023, decisions were made regarding the project's direction. Instead of proceeding to case studies, stakeholders acknowledged the importance of focusing on future research priorities for rights-based fisheries approaches. Actions include finalising project reports, seeking independent reviews, and enhancing stakeholder consultations. The upcoming four-year independent review of FRDC provides further opportunities for input. Efforts also involve aligning research priorities with end-users, improving project procedures, and addressing improvement areas through the mandated external independent review of FRDC.
View the FRDC agreed pathway for this project for more details.

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