Direct stakeholders in the rock lobster industry vary from deckhands, skippers and skipper/owners to retired fishermen, family trusts, superannuation funds and investors in entitlements. All have an interest in the well-being of the industry but none more-so than those whose incomes are directly impacted by the Acts and Regulations that govern not only the harvest (i.e. the Fisheries Resources Management Act) but also workplace law, marine law, company/trust law and the regulations surrounding directors and office bearers of incorporated and unincorporated associations.
Frequently younger people shy away from involvement in industry matters because of the complexities and are often overwhelmed by the sheer volume of legislation governing their day-to-day activities. Many wish it would all just go away or that 'somebody else' will do it for them. Senior members of the industry who have served to represent the industry are now at a stage where younger people need to take over.
Overcoming obstacles which prevent industry members becoming involved in overseeing the smooth functioning of the industry, such breaking legislation down into manageable chunks and presenting it in a way that people in the industry can more easily comprehend, is a task that needs time and patience. The dearth of people with the capacity and knowledge to having meaningful input has been highlighted in the writing of a the Aquatic Resources Management Act, where lobster fishers feel an unease bordering on alarm at changes that will impact on their livelihoods and they don't really know HOW to have their say.
This project is designed to bring some structure and knowledge of the rights and responsibilities pertaining to WRL and its membership so that stakeholders will have more confidence in dealing with large government organisations and know exactly where they stand in doing so.