Publication Date

10-1994

Series Number

No. 68

City

Perth

Abstract

Since 1965, the Western Rock Lobster Fishery has been managed by what is essentially a license limitation scheme invoiving restricted entry for boats, and strict controls on the aggregate number of pots which can be used by the commercial fishing sector. By most measures, management of this fishery has been highly successful. Biological over-exploitation of the fish stock has been prevented, at least until recently. Notwithstanding these achievements, there is widespread concern that the future profitability, and even the viability of the industry is under threat unless the current management practices are reformed. Because of the complexity and intrinsic uncertainty of evaluating counter-factual situations, the approach adopted in this study was to employ several methodologically different procedures in an attempt to obtain broadly consistent estimates of the relative benefits and costs of a change from an input based management system to an output based management system. Specifically, the following three methods were used: Bioeconomic Model, Accounting Model, Programming Model. In all three approaches, the primary consideration was the need to achieve the pre-eminent objective of preserving the fishery on a sustainable basis. Relative to a base case defined to approximate current organization of the catching sector and the average aggregate net economic returns being generated from the fishery performance, the models described above were used to explore the economic consequences of changing the method of managing the Western Rock Lobster Fishery.

Number of Pages

87

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