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Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management (EBFM) Risk Assessment of the Western Australian Silver-Lipped

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Landfill Area near fishing grounds where pearl oysters are temporarily held or placed prior to transport to a holding site and/or farm lease. Pearl culture Any technique or practice used to produce or encourage pearls from pearl oysters.

Introduction

Overview

WA Pearling Industry Background

  • Description
  • Industry Operations
    • Wild Collection
    • Hatchery Operations
    • Pearl Culture
    • Pearl Oyster Grow-Out
  • Management System
    • Legislation and Arrangements
    • Compliance System
    • Industry Initiatives
  • Pinctada maxima Biology
  • Research and Monitoring Activities
    • Statutory Reporting
    • Additional Monitoring
    • Other Research
  • Catch and Effort in the POF
  • Major Environments
    • Physical Environment
    • Social Environment
    • Economic Environment

Detailed guidelines on the movement of pearl oysters are described in the Pearl Oyster Movement Protocol. Raw CPUE and standardized CPUE of pearl oysters in mm of shell length) in zone 2 of the pearl oyster fishery.

Figure 2.   Fishing boundaries and zones of the Western Australian Pearl Oyster Fishery including  holding sites and farm lease areas
Figure 2. Fishing boundaries and zones of the Western Australian Pearl Oyster Fishery including holding sites and farm lease areas

Risk Assessment Methodology

  • Framework
  • Scope
  • Building Component Trees and Identifying Issues
  • Risk Analysis and Scoring

Community wellbeing - the WA pearling industry's contribution to local, regional and global social and economic wellbeing;. External factors - the external environmental, social and economic drivers that affect the performance of the WA pearl industry; and. Scoping work to identify components and sub-components within each of these four areas was undertaken by Department of Research and Management staff and the pearl industry in August 2015 prior to the stakeholder workshop.

Problem identification was guided by generic ESD component trees to include problems that were applicable to the pearl industry. This methodology uses a probability of consequence analysis, which involves examining the extent of potential consequences of fishing activities and the likelihood that these consequences will occur given current management controls (Fletcher 2015). The scores for each of the consequences and probability levels were then multiplied to determine the risk score, i.e.

The workshop group made a realistic assessment of the level of risk for each issue, based on the combined judgment of the workshop participants, who together were considered to have appropriate expertise in the areas considered. The rationale for classifying issues at each risk level was documented at the workshop and forms the bulk of this report.

Figure 11.   5 x 5 Consequence — Likelihood Risk Matrix (based on AS 4360 / ISO 31000) used for  the risk analysis (from Department of Fisheries 2015)
Figure 11. 5 x 5 Consequence — Likelihood Risk Matrix (based on AS 4360 / ISO 31000) used for the risk analysis (from Department of Fisheries 2015)

Risk Assessment Results

Ecological Sustainability

  • Retained Species
  • Non-Retained Species
  • Endangered, Threatened and Protected (ETP) Species
  • Habitats
  • Ecosystem Structure
  • Broader Environment

Risk assessment: Impact of wild collection on spawning populations of silver-lipped pearl oysters in the Northern Territory — C1, L1 = 1; SUBJECT. Risk assessment: Impact of translocation on genetic structure of silver-lipped pearl oyster populations — C1, L1 = 1; SUBJECT. Restrictions are also imposed on the translocation of pearl oysters under the NT Fisheries Act and the NT Fisheries Regulations (Regulation 16).

In addition, the production of pearl oysters in the hatchery can also lead to the introduction of new diseases in the wild populations. Risk classification: impact of hatchery reproduction on the genetic structure of silver-lipped pearl oyster populations — C1, L1 = 1; Negligible. Risk classification: impact of hatchery reproduction on disease transmission in wild silver-lipped pearl oyster populations — C2, L1 = 2; Negligible.

Rationale for inclusion: Pearl oyster shells are covered with fouling / commensal organisms that use the shell of pearl oysters as substrate. In nature, pearl oysters comprise a small proportion of filter feeders found in the ecosystem. The Protocol governs the movement of hatchery-produced pearl oysters and the movement of pearl oysters between pearl oyster farms.

Reason for Inclusion: Pearl oysters are collected from fishing boats traveling between Exmouth Gulf and the Northern Territory.

Figure 12.   Component tree for ecological sustainability aspects of the pearling industry
Figure 12. Component tree for ecological sustainability aspects of the pearling industry

External (Environmental) Factors

  • Environment: Natural Changes
  • Environment: Human-Induced Changes
  • Social Drivers
  • Economic Drivers
  • Access

Habitat change Impact of habitat change on industry performance LOW Invasive species / Diseases Impact of introduction of invasive species or diseases on industry performance LOW. Port Infrastructure Impact of Port Infrastructure on Industry Performance MEDIUM Oil and Gas Industry Impact of Oil and Gas Industry Activities on Industry Performance HIGH Recreational Fishing Impact of Recreational Fishing on Industry Performance TEACHABLE. The effect on industry performance will thus depend on the category and specific location of the cyclone.

Historically, there have been many cyclones within the area, but these have not had a consistent impact on the performance of the industry or the abundance of pearl stocks. Rationale for inclusion: Oil and gas exploration (using seismic surveys) occurs off the northwest shelf in areas where the pearling industry operates. Ongoing fuel costs are considered likely to have a small and ongoing impact on the economic viability of individuals involved in the pearl industry over the next five years.

Changes in the exchange rate considered to have a minor, ongoing impact on the economic sustainability of individuals involved in the pearl industry over the next five years. Oil and gas industry wells and exploration areas in the Western Australian pearl industry.

Figure 13.   Component tree for external factors that potential affect the WA pearling industry’s performance
Figure 13. Component tree for external factors that potential affect the WA pearling industry’s performance

Community Wellbeing

  • Fishing Industry
  • Local Community
  • Broader Community

Three aspects of economic sustainability in the WA pearl industry were scored: the industry's contribution to fisherman competition, fisherman income, and fisherman employment. 5.3.2.1.1 Contribution of industry to the economic value of the local community Risk classification: Contribution of industry to the economic value of the local community — C2, L5 = 10; MEDIUM. 5.3.2.2.1 Contribution of industry to social values ​​of the local community Risk classification: Contribution of industry to social values ​​of the local community — C2, L5 = 10; MEDIUM.

5.3.2.3.1 Contribution of the industry to cultural values ​​of the local community Risk rating: Contribution of the industry to cultural values ​​of the local community — C2, V5 = 10; MEDIUM. 5.3.2.4.1 Contribution of the industry to heritage values ​​of the local community Risk rating: Contribution of the industry to heritage values ​​of the local community — C3, V4 = 12; HIGH. 5.3.3.1.1 Contribution of the industry to economic value of the wider community Risk rating: Contribution of the industry to economic value of the wider community.

5.3.3.2.1 Contribution of the industry to the social values ​​of the wider community Risk assessment: Contribution of the industry to the social values ​​of the wider community — C2, L1 = 2; Negligible. 5.3.3.3.1 Contribution of the industry to the heritage values ​​of the wider community Risk assessment: Contribution of the industry to the heritage values ​​of the wider community.

Table 5.   Overview Table of Identified Components, Sub-Components, Issues and assessed risk ratings related to Community Wellbeing aspects of the  WA pearling industry
Table 5. Overview Table of Identified Components, Sub-Components, Issues and assessed risk ratings related to Community Wellbeing aspects of the WA pearling industry

Governance

  • Government: WA Department of Fisheries
  • Government: Other Agencies
  • Industry
  • Other Stakeholders

Overview table of objectives, identified components, sub-components, issues and risk assessments relating to governance aspects of the WA pearl industry. The Pealing Act 1990 and the General Pearling Regulations 1991, together with Ministerial Policy Guidelines 8 and 17 (MPG 8 and 17, respectively) are the main instruments for managing the pearling industry in WA. As a result, the Water Resources Management Act (currently before parliament as the Water Resources Management Bill 20155) was drafted and provides an innovative legislative and administrative framework for the future management of the state's fish and water resources, based on the principles of ESD and EBFM. .

There is a Memorandum of Understanding between the WA Minister for Fisheries and the NT Minister for Primary Industries and Fisheries in relation to the management of P. Departmental NMAs are coordinated by the Industry Consultative Unit (established by WAFIC under a Service Level Agreement (SLA) with the Department). , in discussion with appropriate department personnel regarding the location, time frame, and priority of the NMA. Reporting takes into account the level of internal and external management system reviews or industry audits, for example against MSC standards.

The management system is the subject of periodic external review as part of the process undertaken to obtain accreditation by the Commonwealth Department of the Environment against the Guidelines for the Ecologically Sustainable Management of Fisheries – V2 (CoA 2007c). Clear consultation processes and management system are in place as part of the MSC assessment and certification process; however, the WA pearl industry operates differently from other MSC-certified fisheries as it is a combination of wild stock fishing, hatchery production and aquaculture to produce primarily a luxury product, not a food source.

Figure 19.   Component tree for Governance aspects of the WA pearling industry
Figure 19. Component tree for Governance aspects of the WA pearling industry

Discussion

Risk treatment

Continue to advise NOPSEMA and seismic survey companies of the pearl industry consultation requirement. Continue to advise NOPSEMA and oil and gas companies regarding the pearl industry consultation requirement. Maintain current management practices to ensure that P.maxima stocks are maintained to ensure that individuals involved in the pearl industry can maintain and improve their livelihoods within the constraints of ecological sustainability.

Maintain current management practices to ensure P.maxima stocks are maintained to ensure that individuals involved in the pearling industry can maintain and improve their livelihoods, within the constraints of environmental sustainability. Be aware of current pearling industry practices and codes developed by the PPA. Engage with and provide general information to the local community on how to manage the pearling industry.

The Department continues to provide information and advice to other government agencies regarding consultation with the pearl industry. Be aware of current pearl industry practices and codes of conduct developed by APP.

Table 10.   Risk Treatment: Specification of probable reporting and monitoring requirements and management actions for medium and high risk
Table 10. Risk Treatment: Specification of probable reporting and monitoring requirements and management actions for medium and high risk

Fletcher, WJ & Santoro, K (2014) Western Australia Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Status Reports 2013/14: the state of the fisheries. Hart, AM & Joll, LM (2006) Growth, mortality, recruitment and sex ratios in wild populations of silver-lipped pearl oysters Pinctada maxima (Jameson) (Mollusca: Pteriidae), in Western Australia. Santoro (ed.) Western Australia's fisheries and aquatic resources status report 2013/14: the state of the fisheries.

O'Connor, WA; O'Connor, SJ & Ottoway, NM (2003) A study of the potential for biological deposition from pearl farming in Port Stephens. PPA (2008a) Pearling in Perspective: an overview of the Australian pearling industry and its environmental credentials. Prince, J (1999) The effects of farming the pearl oyster, Pinctada maxima, on benthic infauna in sediments from the Montebellos Islands, Western Australia.

WA Museum (1997) Limited marine biological survey of the "garden end" of Beagle Bay, Kimberley, Western Australia. Wells, FE & Jernakoff, P (2006) An environmental impact assessment of wild-harvested pearl (Pinctada maxima) aquaculture in Western Australia.

Appendices

Level of inventory depletion is unacceptable, but still does not affect the recruitment level of the inventory. The level of stock depletion is already (or will certainly) affect the future recruiting potential/level of the stock. The level of catch is common but will have no further impact on stocks and is well below levels that would raise public concern.

The catch level is the maximum that will not affect recovery or cause unacceptable public nuisance. Maximum acceptable level of habitat impact without long-term impacts on region-wide habitat dynamics. Above the acceptable level of loss / impact with region-wide dynamics or similar systems may begin to be affected.

The maximum acceptable level of change in the structure of the environment / ecosystem without material change in function. Temporary significant impact on economic viability or moderate ongoing impact on the economic performance of the fishery.

Figure

Figure 1.   Overview of the pearling industry, which integrates the capture of wild oysters with  hatchery-produced stock for pearls, mother-of-pearl and oyster meat production
Figure 2.   Fishing boundaries and zones of the Western Australian Pearl Oyster Fishery including  holding sites and farm lease areas
Figure 3.   Location of main ‘fishing patches’ in Zone 1 (top) and Zones 2/3 (bottom) of the Western  Australian Pearl Oyster Fishery
Figure 4.   Pearl oyster fishing vessel and diver (top); schematic of pearl oyster diving operations  (bottom left) and photo of diver collecting a pearl oyster (bottom right)
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References

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