Some of the socio-economic data available on Perth's metropolitan fisheries provided by the Department of Fisheries is set out below. In addition, commercial divers must cease fishing two weeks before the opening of the recreational season (ie the first Sunday in November) and not fish at all during the recreational season.
4 CATCH INFORMATION
The Ministry of Fisheries in its statement used the field survey data to compare catches between sectors, whereas in FMP 204 it was based on the comparison of the average of the field and telephone survey results (when they were both available). The important implication of using the field study results is that the estimate of recreational catch is lower than the estimate made from the average of both studies, i.e. IFAAC considered that it is the average of the two estimates of the field and telephone surveys as the best estimate of recreational abalone catch in metropolitan Perth region for the purpose of estimating catch.
The average of the field and telephone recall surveys (Table 1) shows that since 1997 recreational catches have varied between 29.5 tonnes and 46.0 tonnes, with an average of 37.2 tonnes per year. Most of the recreational catch is caught in the northern and central sub-regions of the Perth metropolitan region (Figure 2). The bulk of the commercial catch is caught in the northern and southern sub-regions of the Perth metropolitan region (Figure 2).
The creation of a new Midwest Recreation Zone north of the new Perth metropolitan region should be discussed directly between the Department of Fisheries and the Recreation Industry, with "input."
5 ALLOCATION ISSUES
To arrive at his recommendation, it is required to reconcile the policy advice of the Minister for Fisheries (Appendix D) that a priority allocation should be made for common use, with the fact that there is a lack of data available on the actual level of taking. of customary fishing for abalone. Although there is information in general regarding the customary take of abalone, no specific information is available to the IFAAC to suggest that the customary take of abalone is a significant proportion of the total take of abalone in the Perth metropolitan region not. The Department of Fisheries further informed the IFAAC that the amount estimated using this method may be an underestimate and instead recommended an allocation of between 500 and 1,000 kg.
The IFAAC subsequently sought further advice from the Department of Fisheries on this matter and this additional advice is provided in Appendix H. Underallocation of the customary tasks will require future reallocations at the direct cost of the other sectors.
6 SECTOR ALLOCATIONS UNDER A SUSTAINABLE HARVEST LEVEL
- Proportional Allocations for the Recreational and Commercial Sectors
- Reallocation Mechanisms
- Management of the Recreational Sector’s Allocation
The allocation for regular fisheries is in addition to the SHL for the recreational and commercial sector and takes precedence over those sectors. At a SHL of 77 tons, the ratios would be 53 percent for the recreational sector and 47 percent for the commercial sector. The average catches over the period 2000-2003 were 40 tonnes for the recreational sector and 36 tonnes for the commercial sector.
In proportion, this is 53 percent for the recreational sector and 47 percent for the commercial sector. 9 The SHL as given in FMP 204 is equal to the total allowable catch for the recreational and commercial sector. The Recreational Fisheries Advisory Committee (RFAC) believes that the allocation to the recreational sector should be 55 percent across the entire Perth metropolitan area.
An allocation to the recreational sector of twice the current 'true' catch would mean that 100 percent of the resource would be allocated to the recreational sector (note that this apparently assumes that the commercial discard rate is close to zero).
7 OTHER ISSUES
IFAAC's position is that resource reallocation was never intended to respond in real time, but rather should address trends in fish use towards long-term adjustments between sectors to reflect long-term changes.
Allocations Outside the Perth Metropolitan Region
- Broader Legislative Arrangements
The Recreational Fisheries Advisory Committee (RFAC) is another statutory committee established under section 4 of the Fish Resources Management Act 1994 that provides advice to the Minister for Fisheries on all recreational fisheries, including sea bass. In contrast, the majority of RFAC members are recreational anglers and it only provides advice on recreational fishing. The minister therefore receives advice on management of the sea salt resource from two different committees - one with a commercial focus and the other with a recreational focus.
All major stakeholders referred to the need to have appropriate governance structures in place to take advantage of the opportunities that IFM will bring. The WAFIC identified the composition and functions of the committee, and noted that this approach may require the allocation of additional resources to Recfishwest, or the establishment of an advisory committee under s 41 of the Fisheries Management Act 1994 (WAFIC- submission). Given these stakeholder views and the ethnic background of many of the recreational abalone fishermen, the IFAAC supports a review of governance structures and institutions to determine whether change is needed to enable the sectors and license holders to be more involved in the development of the future. management arrangements under IFM.
IFAAC believes that this matter is already covered in the Government's policy on IFM, which was published in 2004, and the timeframe for the development of ministerial policy guidelines is a matter for the Minister for Fisheries.
In its submission to the IFAAC, the WAFIC made the point that the incorporation of decisions on grants and policies adopted by the Government through legislation is extremely important, as it shows the community that the Government is serious about this initiative. Furthermore, the WAFIC argues that the implementation of allocation decisions in legislation will also provide additional security and confidence to sectors regarding their access to their share of the resource. Award processes will be developed in the context of policy guidelines determined by the Minister.
In the longer term, it may be desirable to amend the Fish Resources Management Act 1994 to include allocation processes.”. Department of Fisheries, 2005, Integrated Fisheries Management Report Abalone Resource, Fisheries Management Paper, No. 204, Perth, Western Australia. Wright, G., 2005, A review of the evidence for aboriginal fisheries on the west and south coasts of Western Australia, National Native Title Tribunal, Research Report.
The development and funding of an appropriate research and monitoring program involving all user groups is essential to provide the necessary information on sustainability and distribution issues to be addressed under an integrated framework. This program will be phased in over several years as more fisheries are brought under integrated management. Decisions must be made on the best available information and where this information is uncertain, uncertain, insufficient or unavailable, a precautionary approach adopted to .. manage the risk to fish stocks, marine communities and the environment.
For each fishery1, a harvest level that includes total mortality should be established and the allocation for use by each group should be made explicit. v) Allocations to user groups should take into account the total mortality of fish stocks resulting from the activities of each group, including bycatch and stock mortality. vi). If this happens, steps should be taken that are consistent with the impact of each user group to reduce decline to a level that does not jeopardize future sustainability. vii) Appropriate management structures and processes must be put in place to manage each user group within their prescribed assignment. Realistically, it will take time to achieve this and the implementation of these objectives is likely to be incremental over time. ix) Allocations to user groups should generally be made on a proportional basis to account for natural variations in fish populations.
However, this general principle should not preclude alternative arrangements in a fishery where priority access may be established for a particular user group(s).
The following principles will be adopted (incorporating them into legislation, ministerial policy guidelines or policy as appropriate) as a basis for integrated fisheries management. i) Fish resources are a common property resource managed by the government for the benefit of present and future generations. ii) Sustainability is paramount and ecological requirements must be considered in determining appropriate harvest levels. iii). Lack of or any uncertainty in information should not be used as a reason for delay or failure to make a decision. iv). These should include predefined actions that are required if that group's catch grows above its allocation. viii).
Allocation decisions should aim to achieve the optimum benefit for the Western Australian community from the use of fish stocks and take account of economic, social, cultural and environmental factors. It should remain open to government policy to determine the priority use of fish resources where there is a clear case for doing so.
INTEGRATED FISHERIES MANAGEMENT GOVERNMENT POLICY OCTOBER 00
Determining the Need for a Formal Allocation process in a Fishery
The Minister of Fisheries requested that the IFAAC begin the western rock lobster fishery, the abalone fishery and the demersal finfish fishery on the west coast. Going forward, IFAAC will consult extensively on fisheries that should be included in the IFM process and advise the Minister for Fisheries on this.
Development of an Integrated Fishery Management Fishery Report - Department
The Integrated Fisheries Allocation Process
INTEGRATED FISHERIES ALLOCATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Mechanisms for future allocations between sectors (IFM Government Policy 6)
The Toohey Report states that the 'Community expectations and demands on the use of fish resources will change over time, so an integrated framework must allow adjustments in allocations to occur, both within and between sectors'. IFM Government Policy paragraph 16 states that priority will be given to investigating the development of a market-based system to achieve reallocations, together with social equity considerations, as soon as practical.
SOURCE FOR STAKEHOLDER SUBMISSIONS TO THE IFAAC Department of Fisheries
MINISTERIAL LETTER ON CUSTOMARY FISHING
MINISTER LETTER ON ALLOCATIONS TO THE CONSERVATION SECTOR
MINISTERIAL LETTER ON ALLOCATIONS WITHIN THE PERTH METROPOLITAN REGION
DEPARTMENTAL LETTER ON MANAGEMENT BY SUBREGIONS WITHIN THE METROPOLITAN REGION
DEPARTMENTAL LETTER ON THE CUSTOMARY TAKE OF ABALONE
DEPARTMENTAL LETTER ON THE SUSTAINABLE HARVEST LEVEL AND INCIDENTAL MORTALITY
AbMAC Abalone Management Advisory Committee AIAWA Abalone Industry Association of Western Australia FMP 204 Fisheries Management Paper No.
GLOSSARY OF ACRONYMS