RAC WA: The application, needs, costs and benefits of Habitat Enhancement Structures in Western Australia and cost effective monitoring methods
A policy shift by the WA government towards facilitating Habitat Enhancement Structures (HES) has created the need for the community and fishing industry to gain a better understanding of what technology exists in this space and how it might be best applied in WA. There is a need to have a better set of tools to effectively assess this infrastructure and benefits to meet specific purposes in the most cost effective manner, as well as gain a better understand of the regulatory environment to facilitate cost effective and timely deployment. This project will help the WA seafood sector and community to determine optimum reef structures, layouts and monitoring and will help with the approval process of future developments. This project will identify habitat designs suitable for enhancing fish production as well as determining applications to benefit the aquatic environment in general. This project meets one of the W.A. FRAB 2014 priorities (Application of artificial habitats in WA – how is his technology applied to WA to ensure environmental benefits are achieved, offset effort provide amenities including social benefits, tourism opportunities and are designed to fit purposes. This project aligns with the theme 2,3 and 4 of FRDC program 1 (Environment), theme 7 and 9 of program 2 (Industry) and theme 10 of program 3 (Communities). This project would help to meet the Recfishwest business goal 2013-2014 of ‘Supporting sustainability in fisheries management and pursuing recreational fishing development and enhancement opportunities.’ It also aligns with WAFIC’s 2020 plan.
1. Identify what HES are currently available throughout the world and what benefits each type may have for recreational and commercial fishing as well as identifying the benefits for aquaculture and the environment.
2. Identify how various HES design might provide benefit to the WA seafood sector and community and determine applications and locations for the most effective return on investments.
3. Determine cost effective methods to monitor HES developments using easily available materials and data collection by community and industry groups.
4. Investigate cost effective reef, site selection, approvals, construction, deployment and monitoring strategies for business, industry and community groups wanting invest in HES.