Recreational Rock Lobster, Abalone and Scallop Research

Recreational Rock Lobster & Abalone Fishery - Catch Estimates

Title: Tasmanian Recreational Rock Lobster and Abalone Fisheries 2015-16 Fishing Season
Lead Agency: Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies

IMAS reports annually on the recreational rock lobster and abalone fishing seasons with information derived from surveying a proportion of licence holders.  The report contains estimates of catch and days fished by fishing methods and area, and social information including attitudes about perceived stock status, fishing quality and management.  

The survey method used is often termed the phone/diary method, as potential participants are initially contacted by phone, issued a diary to personally record their fishing activities.  Participants are then contacted throughout the season by a trained interviewer who records the fishing activity details. The methodology has been confirmed by an international, independent expert as the most cost effective way of accurately estimating rock lobster catch.
 

Recreational Rock Lobster Fishery 2015/16 Season – Key Points

  • There were 16,800 recreational rock lobster licence holders, 13% fewer than 2014/15.
  • Recreational fishers harvested an estimated 58,805 rock lobsters equating to 63 tonnes.  
  • By weight, 57% of the catch was from the East Coast, 27% from the North and 16% from the West Coast.
  • Potting was the dominant method, representing 79% of the effort (days fished) and 61% of the estimated harvest.  Dive collection accounted for about 19% of the effort and 36% of the harvest, while ring usage contributed 2% of the effort and 3% of the harvest.  
  • The 2015-16 harvest estimate of 63 tonnes is well below the total allowable recreational catch (TARC) of 170 tonnes.
  • The catch in the East Coast stock rebuilding zone (Eddystone Point south to Southport) is estimated to be 36 tonnes and did not exceed the notional recreational catch allocation of 42 tonnes.  
  • The biotoxin closure closures delayed the season start for all zones in the Eastern Region with closures in place between November to mid – January.  IMAS reported had the closures not occurred catches are likely to have exceeded the notional catch despite the reduction in bag limit (from 3 to 2) and the winter closure in 2015/16.

Recreational Abalone Fishery 2015/16 Season– Key Points

  • There were 10,500 recreational abalone licence holders.
  • Recreational fishers harvested an estimated 47,113 abalone, equating to an estimated at 23 tonnes, equivalent to 1% of the combined recreational and commercial catch of 1891 tonnes.
  • Blacklip abalone accounted for 90% and greenlip abalone 10% of the total numbers.
  • 60% of abalone were taken from the East Coast, 25 % from the North and 10% from the West Coast.
  • There are currently no explicit performance indicators relating to the recreational fishery for abalone.

Download the report.


Information Paper on Recreational Catch Tags for the Tasmanian Non-Commercial Rock Lobster Fishery

Catch tags have been promoted by some rock lobster fishery stakeholders as a potential solution for managing the recreational take of rock lobster on the state’s east coast.

DPIPWE officers undertook a comprehensive assessment of catch tags, including a cost benefit analysis of their application.The assessment included examining the application of catch tags in other jurisdictions both in Australia and overseas.

The assessment found that the catch tags would be costly to implement and administer and not likely to deliver the planned objectives of constraining the recreational rock lobster catch taken in the Eastern Region.

Download the report.


 

D'Entrecasteaux Channel Scallop Assessment Report 2006-2012

D'Entrecasteaux Scallop Report Cover Title: Assessment of scallop populations in the D'Entrecasteaux Channel 2006-2012
Lead Agency: Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies

A fishery assessment report outlines the status of scallop populations in the D'Entrecasteaux Channel between 2006-2012. IMAS conducts recreational scallop fishery surveys every two years.

The D’Entrecasteaux Channel was closed to recreational fishing in 2011 and 2012 due to an assessment of low stocks and poor recruitment. This report summarises the findings of the IMAS dive surveys of scallop populations in the D’Entrecasteaux Channel from 2006 - 2012.

The dive surveys have been designed to provide basic population information on the scallop stocks, including relative trends in population size.

Download the report.


Scallop Recruitment in the Entrecasteaux Channel

Title: Post-settlement processes affecting Commercial Scallop recruitment in south-eastern Tasmania
Lead Agency: Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies

The aim of the study was to gain understanding about factors affecting recruitment of scallops, focusing on processes occurring at or shortly after settlement.

Specific aims included:

1. Role of habitat structure and sediment type on scallop densities.
2. Assess the relationships between dispersal and growth of recently settled scallops and site characteristics
3. Identify the main factors affecting survival of newly settled scallops.

Download the report.


Recruitment and Retention of Scallops in the D'Entrecasteaux Channel

IMAS ReportTitle: Recruitment and retention of scallops in the D'Entrecasteaux Channel: Is there a relationship with scallop density?
Lead Agency: Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies
Date: 1 September 2008 - 27 June 2013

The aim of the project was to provide necessary information to enable the current management of the recreational scallop fishery to be evaluated in a valid way.
Specific aims:
  1. Examine the importance of scallop density (spawner biomass) on synchronisation of spawning and recruitment success.
  2. Examine the relationship between scallop density and retention of recruits on scallop beds.
  3. Determine the origin of scallop recruits in the D'Entrecasteaux Channel.
Final Report Summary
The research confirmed that the commercial scallop (Pecten fumatus) in the Channel are genetically different than those on the East Coast. This indicates that the Channel is "self seeding" and reliant on scallop stock populations from within the Channel. This highlights the importance of protecting areas of high density spawning stock to increase the likelihood of steady and/or significant recruitment pulses for the Channel.

Download the report.


Understanding Interactions and Competition over Rock Lobster Resource Access, Tasman Peninsula

East Coast Rock Lobster Fishery Report coverTitle: Understanding Interactions and Competition over Rock Lobster Resource Access off the East Coast of Tasmania, June 2012
Lead Agency: Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies

The objectives of the research were to:
  1. Map and analyse the ground holding and gear setting behaviour of rock lobster fishers at selected sites along the Tasman Peninsula coastline.
  2. Describe rock lobster fisher decision making inputs regarding pot placement during peak periods and throughout the season.
  3. Identify perceptions of resource sharing and fisher preferences for management approaches to resource sharing between the recreational and commercial sectors.
Download the report.


Recreational Rock Lobster Survey Methodology Peer Review

Title: Review of the Telephone Diary Survey of the Tasmanian Recreational Rock Lobster Fishery
Lead Agency: Tasmanian Association for Recreational Fishing Inc. (TARFish)

Objectives:
  • Identify world's best practice methodology for recreational rock lobster catch estimation with resultant costs, benefits, capabilities, resources and limitations.
  • Identify areas where the current methodology can be improved given the available finite resources.
  • Understand if there are more cost effective methods available that provide the required confidence levels (statistical accuracy).
  • Evaluation of the current survey may assist TAFI in improving the survey in terms of scientific robustness.
  • All fishery stakeholders should have confidence in the survey outcomes and understand its capabilities, limitations and restrictions.
  • Identify the levels of estimated costs and methodologies associated with increasing the confidence levels (statistical accuracy) to a maximum of +/-5% of the estimated annual catch.
  • Understand the cost implications of having the same statistical accuracy for each of the 8 rock lobster areas.
  • Identify the optimum survey frequency given management plan and fishery assessment requirements. Should the survey be undertaken every 2 years or should it be aligned with Rule Reviews and fishery assessment needs.
  • Identify a recommended methodology that optimises resources and minimises diminishing returns.
Download the report.

Further information

Contact: IMAS Research

Sean Tracey
Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies
University of Tasmania
Marine Research Laboratories
Phone: (03) 6227 7286
Email: Sean.Tracey@utas.edu.au

Contact: Recreational Fisheries Manager
Rod Pearn
Recreational Fisheries Manager
Wild Fisheries Management Branch
1 Franklin Wharf
HOBART TAS 7000
Phone: 03 6165 3034
Email: Rod.Pearn@dpipwe.tas.gov.au
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