We carry out research on invertebrate fisheries to assess and monitor the crustacean and mollusc stocks, including rock lobsters, prawns, pearl oysters, scallops, abalone and crabs.
Invertebrates are animals without a backbone. In some cases, they have a shell, such as an abalone, or a hard exoskeleton, like a rock lobster, to contain their organs together and protect them.
Marine invertebrates include crustaceans (such as crabs, rock lobsters and prawns), molluscs (abalone, oysters and scallops), sponges, corals, sea cucumbers and nudibranchs. They range in size from microscopic organisms to up to a metre in length and come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
Scientists involved with invertebrate fisheries also collaborate with those working on biodiversity and biosecurity to undertake research on broader ecosystem-related issues associated with these fisheries, such as bycatch, habitat and community structure. This includes a number of collaborative projects with universities, the Western Australian Museum and the CSIRO.
Our invertebrate fisheries researchers are also responsible for work carried out by our major research vessel, the RV Naturaliste. This vessel undertakes a range of research activities, including ones involved with trawling, fish trapping, rock lobster fishing, long-lining, biodiversity studies and environmental monitoring.
Details of major research projects are included in our Annual Report. The results of many projects are also covered in the scientific reports we publish.