We have developed a process to determine how fish resources can be best shared between commercial, recreational and customary fishers and aquaculture. This process helps to ensure that Western Australia's fisheries continue to be managed sustainably for the future.
Following the growth in WA’s population and coastal development, and increasing interest in recreational fishing, the need to share our fish resources has become an important issue over the past couple of decades.
The resource sharing process is based on taking an integrated approach to fisheries management (IFM). It involves setting an allowable (sustainable) harvest level for a fish resource, determining the allocations between various user groups, and managing each sector's catch within their allocation. The process also includes developing mechanisms to enable the reallocation of catch share between user groups.
In recent years the process has been used to determine allocations for, the Perth metropolitan Roe’s abalone resource and WA’s western rock lobster fishery. The allocation assessment for demersal scalefish species in the West Coast Bioregion is still underway.
The Integrated Fisheries Allocation Advisory Committee is tasked with consulting on the explicit sharing of our fish resources. The Allocation Committee recommends the setting of catch shares and reports to the Minister for Fisheries. The Minister has overall responsibility for determining the process, timelines and making the final decision on the allocations for user groups.