One of the most important areas of research we undertake is the assessment of the status of most of Western Australia’s fish stocks. This information is then used to monitor the success of our management arrangements.
Our researchers collaborate with other researchers and fisheries' managers providing support with statistical design and analysis, population dynamics and stock assessment, data management, monitoring of fishery catch and effort, and recreational fishing and community surveys.
The researchers provide preliminary analysis and assessment of the data collected during routine monitoring of commercial and recreational fisheries. They also undertake leading-edge research into the development of fisheries stock assessment models and sustainability reporting techniques. Results from major recreational fishing and community and stakeholder attitude surveys are added to the comprehensive fisheries databases.
Most research projects take between three and ten years, with planning often starting at least five years ahead. Sometimes we carry out shorter-term projects, such as assessing a new type of fishing gear, the status of a fish population or surveying the habitat of a particular area.
Funding comes from a variety of sources; the State Government, revenue from recreational fishing licences, grants from research funding agencies (especially the Commonwealth Government’s Fisheries Research and Development Corporation which receives funding from WA’s commercial fisheries), the fishing industry and other institutions.
Joint projects are often undertaken with universities or TAFEs as well as other national agencies such as the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics – Bureau of Rural Sciences, CSIRO and the Australian Institute of Marine Science.
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.