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Fishing Rights in South Africa - M. Mayekiso, R. Tilney and J. de Swardt
How “Privatization” can Result in more Government: The Alaska Halibut and Sablefish Experience - P. J. Smith
Towards a Better Future in Fisheries Management: Rights-based Fisheries Management in Western Australia - P.P. Rogers

Fishing Rights in South Africa - M. Mayekiso, R. Tilney and J. de Swardt

Marine and Coastal Management
Private Bag X2, Roggebaai, Cape Town, 8012 South Africa
<[email protected]>


The passage of South Africa from an authoritarian system of government to one that embodies liberal democracy is widely hailed as one of the great events in the annals of negotiated transitional pacts. However, since our first truly democratic elections in early 1994, it has become increasingly evident that the country confronts formidable challenges in its rehabilitation in a world where international relations have been altered fundamentally, or are themselves in transition.

It is against this background of global and national change that a number of policy-reform processes have been undertaken in South Africa. One of the areas of tension and extensive debate is that of macro-economic policy involving the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP - ANC 1994), a policy that emphasizes redistribution, and the Growth Employment and Redistribution Policy (GEAR - ANC 1996) that emphasizes economic growth.

This tension is linked directly to difficulties in first formulating and second effectively implementing the new marine fisheries policy of South Africa. For instance, the former distribution of rights of access gave the upper hand in fisheries to relatively few organizations, almost all of which were dominated by the formerly advantaged sector of the population. Tensions were created by the need to create (demographic) equity in distribution while still allowing for some of the industrial stability that had allowed markets to be developed so effectively over the years.

The process of formulating a new marine fisheries policy was initiated by the Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism in October 1994 (Cochrane and Payne 1998). The immediate background was unrest over prevailing policy, which was widely considered to be insensitive to the requirements of South Africans previously marginalized by the policy of apartheid. In December 1994 the idea of establishing a Fisheries Policy Development Committee (FPDC) to develop a Green Paper for the fisheries was mooted.

On 4 June 1996 the FPDC presented the Green Paper to the Minister. The White Paper (Anon 1997), and the Marine Living Resources Act (Anon 1998) which became operational from 1 September 1998, were developed from that same Green Paper. During the policy-development process three issues were not contested. They were sustainability of utilization of marine resources, the need to maintain stability in the industry, and the need to broaden access to include previously excluded population groups (equity). On the other hand there were some issues on which consensus was difficult. These included:

i. the nature of access rights, where the key issue is the balance between the rights of the individual rights-holder and those of the State and

ii. the position of the user-group versus the State where the issue is the balance between user-group interest and Ministerial discretion.


Until 1994 (in reality, until the new Act was promulgated in September 1998), access to resources was granted by the State in the form of annual quotas. During the FPDC process, the dominant concept was that of a long-term property right. The recommendation handed to the Minister by the FPDC was essentially for an ITQ system with relatively modest scope for government intervention (FPDC 1996). The rationale behind this recommendation was that long-term rights should be granted because they would result in an increase in the stability of the labour force and in economic efficiency, while encouraging investment and sustainable resource utilization.

The Ministry in its White Paper on Marine Fisheries (Anon 1997) also supported the ITQ concept, but with rights to be sold for a maximum period of 50 years, during which period they would revert to the State. The same document recommended that the transfer of rights would be regulated by the State to prevent concentration of rights in the hands of the economically powerful. This regulation was considered necessary to achieve the broadening of the participation ideal. The legislature finally reduced the maximum period of holding rights to 15 years, and the principle of State ownership of the resources was underlined by a decision that rights would only be leased to participants, rather than actually sold.

The centralizing of power with the Minister also took place with regard to allocation of access rights. Prior to promulgation of the new Act, quotas were allocated by an independent statutory body, the Quota Board, and the Minister could not influence the process once he/she had handed the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) over to it. Although, not surprisingly, the Quota Board was unpopular with most fishers themselves, the FPDC supported the general idea of an independent statutory body, which they named an Allocation Board (FPDC 1996). The position in the White Paper (Anon 1997) was that the allocation of scarce resources fell in the domain of politics and hence should be the prerogative of the Minister. This position was upheld by the legislature.

The previous resource management advisory authority to the Minister was called the Sea Fisheries Advisory Committee (SFAC). The FPDC recommended that the structure be retained with largely similar functions and renamed the Consultative Advisory Forum (CAF). It recommended that the CAF be given a stronger position than the SFAC in relation to the Minister, in other words limiting the Minister’s decision-making power to some degree. In the White Paper, however, the Forum’s position was weakened again. The legislature effected some modest changes without changing in any significant manner the status of the CAF relative to the Minister.

From this brief analysis, it is clear that there was divergence in thought between stake-holders, the executive and the legislature. The stake-holders sought regulation in the marketplace, so diminishing the role of the executive. The executive, on the other hand, attempted to introduce a market-regulated system that allowed for intervention. The legislature finally settled for a system in which the market would play a minimal role in the distribution of access rights. The reluctance to leave matters with markets both on the part of the executive and the legislature was clearly related to their consideration of the level of inequality in the fishing industry. However, it did broaden the definition of stability beyond the concept of industrial stability mentioned earlier as a cornerstone of the new policy. It also moved stability into the sphere of politics while retaining some level of industrial stability.


South Africa has a coastline of some 3000km, extending from the border of Namibia in the west to Ponta do Ouro in the east, adjacent to Mocambique. The western coastal shelf is highly productive, in common with other upwelling ecosystems around the world, while the east coast is considerably less productive but has a high species diversity including both endemic and Indo-Pacific species. The living marine resources of South Africa have been exploited for many centuries. Industrial fisheries, however, started just after the turn of the 20th century with the commencement of the hake trawl fishery.

The hake trawl fishery is the mainstay of South Africa’s fishing industry. The two hake species are harvested, primarily off the western Agulhas Bank and the annual total allowable catch (TAC) for the two species combined is currently just over 155 000t. A conservative management strategy has been adopted for the stocks, in a highly successful endeavour to rebuild the resource after a period of severe over-fishing by distant-water fleets during the 1960s and 1970s. The hake fishery is dominated by two large companies and as a result there are high expectations for transformation within this sector.

The fishery originated in 1904 when vessels and capital were introduced by a wealthy British fishing family. The fishery was a modern one from the outset, backed by experience and a great deal of capital - this enabled the company to survive two early insolvencies within six years of its origin. Significantly, a great deal of emphasis was placed on marketing and the establishment of a distribution network to the interior. Insulated railway trucks enabled the product to be marketed to the mines 1500 km inland, and by 1910 a bi-weekly “fish train” was in operation between Cape Town and Johannesburg. Complete control over the marketing and distribution of fish resulted in the pioneer company, Irvin & Johnson, dominating the South African trawling industry for over 60 years. Many new entrants came and went during this period as a result of liquidations, amalgamations and takeovers. Apart from I&J’s stranglehold over the distributive network, new entrants were typically confronted by problems such as the lack of berthing space and access to sufficient capital (Bross 1999).

The hake fishery underwent unprecedented growth during the early 1960s when foreign fleets discovered the rich grounds of the south-eastern Atlantic. Catches were uncontrolled and escalated rapidly, peaking at over one million tonnes per annum. The hake stocks were decimated within 15 years and by 1977 the fleet was landing primarily juvenile fish. Due to the open-access nature of the fishery and the absence of any form of access-rights, catches in several South African fisheries started to exceed sustainable yields by the 1960 and this over-exploitation led to sharp declines in some important stocks. Concerns over the sustainability of the open-access fisheries led the authorities to impose regulations such as total allowable catches (TACs), limited seasons and area restrictions. These regulations only partially succeeded in controlling over-fishing.

At this time, a clause in the draft Convention on the Law of the Sea indicated that if host nations did not have the vessel capacity to harvest their stocks at MSY, foreign vessels could not be excluded. The South African government saw this as an opportunity to encourage large-scale new entrants into the fishing industry in an attempt to expand local fishing capacity. However, due to the parlous state of the resource, potential investors were hesitant and it was left to the existing participants to invest further in order to acquire the necessary capacity. Once this had been achieved, the authorities promulgated an Exclusive Fishing Zone out to 200nm in November 1977 and the fishery was effectively South Africanised once more. During the boom period, open-access market forces had broken I&J’s stranglehold on the fishery and two major new companies had emerged. During the late seventies it became clear that the existing regulations were inadequate to address the problem of economic over-fishing and the excess effort that occurred led the authorities to introduce individual company allocated quotas in 1979. These quotas were awarded annually by the Minister responsible for fisheries and fell mostly into the hands of companies with a proven past performance. With the industry having been afforded a degree of security, they negotiated the introduction of a stock-rebuilding strategy with the Government, which saw a 22% reduction in the TAC over a five-year period. During this time, concentration in the industry occurred again, when the second largest company, Sea Harvest, purchased the third largest company, leaving 92% of the TAC in the hands of two companies.

After introducing the individual quota system, the Government once again attempted to broaden participation in the hake fishery by allocating quotas to new entrants. This was done by defining a quota as a quantum rather than as a proportion of the TAC, which meant that any increases in the TAC would facilitate new entrants.

Following the inception of the quota system, stakeholders argued that the granting of annual quotas caused uncertainty which hampered financing and investment and retarded development. Although there was no assurance that quotas would not arbitrarily be reduced or cancelled, it never happened in practice as long as stakeholders complied with the regulations. This matter was investigated for the first time in 1980 by the Treurnicht Commission of inquiry into certain aspects of the living marine resources of South Africa. They recommended that quotas be granted for a revolving term of seven years provided that applications giving grounds for such quotas were made annually. This recommendation referred only to concessions (exploitation rights), since quotas, i.e. the physical quantity, were reconsidered and granted annually in accordance with the status of the resource concerned. The concept was, however, rejected in a Parliamentary White Paper on the grounds that the Government should always have the right to withdraw any allocation at any time, and the system whereby quotas were awarded annually therefore continued.

In 1985 the fishing industry once again challenged the legality of the Minister’s actions, resulting in the appointment of a Commission of inquiry (the Diemont Commission 1986) whose mandate was to report on a range of issues pertaining to fishing rights.

During this inquiry the stake-holders again argued strongly that the practice whereby the right to utilize a specific mass of fish was granted on an annual basis did not grant sufficient security of tenure specifically in those sectors where long-term planning was a prerequisite for a rational programme of investment and market development. Second they argued that it was necessary and desirable for the right to participate in the fishery to be established indefinitely. The Diemont Commission did not accept the second argument on the grounds that there were too many uncertain factors for the State to give a stamp of permanency to any quota. They also pointed out that some quota-holders had acted irresponsibly towards the resource in the past and did not deserve to be granted permanent rights. The South African common law had also never recognised that the sea or its resources could be the subject of ownership. The Commission did, however, accept the first argument and recommended that tenure should be for a long term.

In the White Paper the Government indicated that it was of the opinion that some of the evidence over-emphasized the need for greater security and stability and pointed out that, in practice, quotas or fishing rights were perpetuated provided the holder complied with prescribed requirements. It accepted the Commission’s recommendations in this regard, but pointed out that the quantum of the quota would vary each year according to fluctuations in the TAC.

The Legislator eventually introduced a system whereby an independent statutory body, the Quota Board, granted exploitation rights for a specific period to stake-holders, as well as annual quotas (it also recommended that the “specific period” differ for the different sectors of the industry). In practice, exploitation rights were awarded to all existing stake-holders for a period of 10 years and for five years to new entrants. This system meant that stake-holders had more security than before, but were still not guaranteed that their quotas would be renewed from year to year. In anticipation of a stock recovery, the Government decreed that 20% of all TAC increases were to be reserved for distribution to new entrants. These measures resulted in the erosion of founding company quota holdings by 28% over the 20-year period following quota introduction. The Government therefore used the quota-management system as a tool to manipulate market share.

The guidelines of the Quota Board provided that the quotas could be reduced or withdrawn in certain specified situations. Examples of such instances were:

i. a reduction in the TAC.

ii. the Board being of the opinion that a redistribution of quotas was desirable.

iii. the quota-holder gave preference to employment of foreigners.

iv. non-compliance with statutory, regulatory or other requirements stipulated by the Board or Department.

This system did not prove to be popular and especially the Quota Board was widely criticized. Although the Board made its allocations according to a set of criteria, the quotas were generally perceived to have been allocated arbitrarily and often unfairly. Consequently, the industry became steeped in uncertainty and insecurity prevailed amongst most of the stake-holders. A paradox was that although the new Sea Fishery Act (1988) endorsed the conditional marketability of quotas, it failed to allow for divisibility of rights. This meant that while small companies could be bought up, the larger companies were not able to downsize and diversify (Bross 1999).


Quotas in the hake fishery were introduced at a time when stocks were in need of rebuilding. The small number of role-players meant that agreement between Government and industry was easily reached and management action could be implemented quickly. Individual relationships between personnel within the fisheries management authority and those of the fishing companies were comfortable in the sense that in most instances, a common culture was shared (educational background, language, value systems, etc.). This homogeneity meant that a spirit of co-operation was easily engendered between the two groups, enabling a high degree of co-management with respect to stock assessment and management procedures adopted and at the level of the Sea Fisheries Advisory Committee (the advisory body to the Minister).

Although South Africa was politically isolated and subject to international economic sanctions as a result of its apartheid policy, the Government’s fisheries research component managed to stay abreast with international fisheries management trends and to maintain a high level of expertise. The Sea Fisheries Research Institute covered the fields of fisheries biology, physical, chemical and biological oceanography and stock assessment, was backed up by a fleet of modern research and patrol vessels, large compliance and administrative components and had a healthy annual budget.

South Africa’s geographical isolation at the southern tip of Africa meant that the country enjoyed a high degree of ownership over the hake stocks, significantly boosting the chances of successfully rebuilding the resource. Indeed, the recovery was a major success and served to promote industry stability.

In spite of the reluctance on the part of the Government to introduce long-term rights, the oligopoly was so entrenched that for all intents and purposes the companies involved enjoyed a high degree of security of tenure. This promoted a culture of custodianship over the resource, which has survived through to the present day.


As stated earlier the Marine Fisheries Policy White Paper (May 1997), proposed that rights should be allocated for a period not exceeding 50 years, and should revert back to the State during the course of that period. The rights were to be defined as a proportion of the TAC, were to be divisible, inheritable and transferable, with the consent of the Minister. In the Bill (May 1998) and later the Marine Living Resources Act 1998, the right was redefined as a portion of the TAC, with the intent that quantities of fish made available by increases in the TAC would be available for allocation to new entrants, echoing the policy of the previous Government. Similarly, the maximum duration of a right was reduced to 15 years.

It is clear that the ANC Government, like the Nationalist Government before it, has shied away from a market-driven industry-structure based on the sale of rights in perpetuity. In both instances, the Governments of the day have been intent on broadening access to the hake fishery and on divesting control from the two largest companies. In 1999, these two companies still hold 64% of the hake TAC, while the five largest companies hold a total of 71%. A system whereby rights are allocated for a shorter period is more flexible and allows Government more opportunities for social engineering. This must be seen against the background of inequity that prevailed for so long in South Africa and the fact that both Governments were aware that restructuring of the Industry had to take place over a number of years. Both Governments were also aware that under a system of freely transferable long-term rights, the rights may revert back to the economically powerful. Although this domination is likely to lead to greater economic efficiency, the general feeling of both Governments has been that it might also have a negative impact on the restructuring process. As far as the sustainability of the major resources in the South African fisheries are concerned, it can be argued that even in the absence of long-term access or property rights, the management of the various resources has been reasonably successful.


6.1 Need for common purpose

The relationships and co-operation that existed between the fishery management authority and stake-holders under the old regime will be much more difficult to emulate during the post-transformation era due to the diversity of cultural backgrounds now involved. Differences will have to be overcome and a sense of common purpose will once again need to be established. In particular, it is essential that the Minister, members of the Consultative Advisory Forum and decision-makers within the government agency (Marine & Coastal Management) should share this sense of common purpose.

6.2 Economic versus socio-economic considerations

There is a divergence in the expectations of the established industry and the aspirant new entrants. The established industry feel that they should be permitted to continue as before because they have taken steps to transform their companies and were highly efficient operators earning valuable foreign currency and offering stable employment to a large workforce. The aspirant new entrants expect the Government to reallocate a significant portion of the TAC to them. Neither expectation can be met in its entirety. While there were some small allocations to new entrants under the old legislation, the new Marine Living Resources Act 1998, which is envisaged to bring about transformation, still has to be implemented. Employment stability will be a major consideration in the re-allocation process.

6.3 Black empowerment - financial and capacity problems

The Government’s policy to empower black people economically has resulted in a number of schemes being initiated in the general economy. Some of these schemes are faltering as a result of debt burdens and the sluggish growth in the economy over the last few years.

Experience has shown that transformation will be a more gradual and multi-faceted process involving not only new entrants but also investments by black entrepreneurs in existing companies. However, lessons from the fishing (and other) industries have taught that markets, when left to themselves, tend to reinforce the existing distribution of income and assets rather than promoting diversification. In any event, this type of approach to Black Economic Empowerment is unlikely to prove rapid enough to satisfy the enormous expectations of the electorate. The Government is therefore under enormous pressure to facilitate rapid transformation through heavy-handed intervention (Gqubule 1999).

The Government is intent upon transforming the industry so that ownership more fairly reflects the demography of the country. However, the stranglehold by the established companies on marketing and distributional networks, domination of infrastructure and berthing facilities and lack of access to capital, are still a reality. The highly-industrialised nature of, for instance, the hake fishery means that in addition to viable rights, new entrants will need enormous financial backing. The problem is that the black population of South Africa has only recently been given the opportunity of entering the mainstream economy and has yet to develop the financial muscle or collateral required for this type of investment.

6.4 Legal challenges

There have been legal challenges against the Minister from existing rights-holders whose rights have been reduced or taken away. As any redistribution of rights will be at the expense of current rights-holders we expect more legal challenges in future.

6.5 Compliance

In the transformation process, the Government has committed itself to the allocation of rights to small and medium-size enterprises (SMMEs). While there are currently some SMME’S that share in the TAC, the number of these companies will have to be increased. The newly established hake longline fishery has also enabled the Government to bring new entrants into the industry as the threshold for entry into this fishery is relatively low. This broadening of participation will place an additional strain on the enforcement of regulations in the fishery as there are going to be many more rights-holders than before. The broadening of participation idea has created a lot of uncertainty among the existing rights-holders as the extent of adjustments have not finally been set. There is a danger that such uncertainty might lead to overcatching by those under threat.


As far as the sustainability of the major resources in the South African fisheries are concerned, it can be argued that even in the absence of long-term access or property rights, the management of the various resources has been reasonably successful. Success in implementing the new policy will likely depend upon the success with which the three cornerstones (sustainability, stability and equity) are “married” in the global interests of the country. A “marriage” of two entities is, as we know, fraught with some difficulty. How then will we fare in addressing all three in an optimal manner? The key to this lies in a balancing-act based on the rational utilization of the resources, something based in turn on a knowledge of the resources.

Future generations of South Africans will tell us how successful we have been in our balancing-act. In essence, and for a multiplicity of reasons, we dare not fail. Regarding the rights-regime, we believe we are on the right track and are positive that the current system whereby the state has scope for intervention is the only way in which to ensure that a redistribution, leading to equity, will take place. Once this has occured, a more classical ITQ system might be introduced.


Anon 1986. White paper on the report of the commission of inquiry into the allocations of quotas for the exploitation of living marine resources on a firm basis (submitted to parliament by the minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism) 1986, Cape and Transvaal printers (Pty) Ltd Cape Town.

Anon 1996. Interim report on the development of fisheries policy FPDC, May 1996.

Anon 1997. White paper. A marine fisheries policy for South Africa. Cape Town; Department of Environmental affairs & Tourism: 46pp.

Anon 1999. Draft Transformation Strategy for the Marine Fisheries of South Africa. Unpublished document, Marine & Coastal Management, Cape Town. 7pp.

Bross, R. 1999. Personal interview.

Cochrane, K.L. and A.I.L. Payne 1998. People, Purses and Power: developing fisheries policy for the new South Africa. pp. 73-79. In: Reinventing Fisheries Management. T.J. Pitcher, P.J.B. Hart & D. Pauly (eds.). Kluwer Academic Publishers, London.

Diemont M.A., F.G. Barrie, W.H. Stoops, R. Ramsay and E.H.B. Goldschmidt 1986. Report of the Commission of inquiry into the allocations of quotas for the exploitation of living marine resources on a firm basis, Government printer, Pretoria.

Gqubule, D. 1999. Black Empowerment: Still not happening. pp. 60-61. Financial Mail, 24 September 1999.

Mayekiso, M., A. Badenhorst, D. G.M. Miller, and A.I.L. Payne 1998. (In press) A balancing act in Marine Fisheries Management in South Africa; Perceptions of some fisheries managers, 11pp.

How “Privatization” can Result in more Government: The Alaska Halibut and Sablefish Experience - P. J. Smith

National Marine Fisheries Service, Alaska Region
P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, Alaska 99802, USA
<[email protected]>


By the late 1980s, the Pacific Halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepsis) and sablefish (Anaplopoma fimbria) longline fisheries off Alaska were seriously stressed by fleet over-capitalization. Fishing seasons had shortened from months (in the early 1980s) to less than 48h/year in several administrative areas! The fisheries were characterized by gear-losses and conflicts, waste, excessive bycatch of non-target species, poor product quality, vessels and human lives at risk, and other manifestations of the “race for fish”. In response, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council recommended, and the U.S. Secretary of Commerce approved, an Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) programme for the fisheries. Implementation of the programme began in 1993, and Quota Shares were initially issued to more than 5000 people in late 1994. Fishing under the programme commenced in 1995.

The Alaska IFQ programme is designed to protect the owner-operated nature of the fleet. To guard against excessive consolidation of the harvest privilege, caps are mandated on the amount of quota that may be held by any one person. To promote an owner-operated fishery, transfer rules insure that quota may only be transferred to bona fide fishermen. To insure the continuity of the heterogenous characteristics of the longline fleet, quota is issued in four different vessel-categories, and transfer across vessel-categories is prohibited.

This paper discusses the history of the fisheries, the conditions in the fisheries that led to the adoption of the IFQ programme, certain of the programme’s design elements, and the programme implementation and management process. Data on various aspects of programme performance (transfer and consolidation of Quota Share among fishermen, consolidation of vessels used in the fisheries, etc.) are presented as well.


2.1 Pacific Halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepsis)

In the North Pacific, halibut occur from the northern Bering Sea to California. The major fishing grounds lie off the Coast of Alaska (both in the Gulf of Alaska and in the Bering Sea) and off British Columbia. Halibut are long-lived flatfish that can grow to a significant weight (halibut that weigh more than 100 pounds are not unusual). Halibut are usually harvested with hook-and-line gear and commercial exploitation is limited to longline gear. In recent years the total allowable commercial catch (TACC) has been increasing, with a TAC of some 72 million pounds1 of which slightly less than 60 million pounds are allocated to the fishery off Alaska in 1999.

1 1 million pounds (lbs) represent 455 metric tonne.
Pursuant to the Pacific Halibut Convention, a treaty between the United States and Canada, the Pacific halibut resource and fishery have been managed by the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) since 1923. In accordance with a revision negotiated in response to extended jurisdiction (the “200 mile limit” established in the US by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976) adopted by the parties in 1979, the Commission adopts conservation regulations (establishing seasons, quotas, methods and means of harvest, etc.), which are then forwarded to both governments for approval prior to the fishing season. (Hoag 1993). The Northern Pacific Halibut Act of 1982 is the US enabling legislation that gives effect to the protocol, and it provides authority to the US Secretary of Commerce to develop, in consultation with the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (“Council” - also established by the Magnuson-Stevens Act) other regulations (such as those that allocate the resource among competing user groups and that limit access) that do not conflict with IPHC regulations.

With the introduction of limited-entry in the Alaska salmon and herring fisheries in the mid-1970s, pressures on the open-entry halibut fishery increased rapidly. By 1988, over 3000 vessels were actively engaged in the fishery, a number that would increase to over 3500 before the IFQ programme was implemented in 1995.

The Canadian halibut fishery was placed under a licence limited-entry programme in 1979, at which time 432 licences were issued. Subsequently, in 1991, the management regime was converted to an individual vessel quota (IVQ) system (Casey et al. 1995).

2.2 Sablefish, or “Black Cod” (Anaplopoma fimbria)

Sablefish, which are much smaller than halibut with an average commercial weight of 5-7lb, range throughout a considerable portion of the North Pacific rim, extending from Japan and Eastern Russia into the Bering Sea down the West Coast of North America to Southern California. Off Alaska, the harvest is divided between trawl and fixed gear (longline and pot), with about 85% of the catch being allocated to the fixed-gear sector. Unlike halibut, in recent years the abundance of sablefish has been decreasing, with an annual commercial TAC of somewhat more than 30 million pounds in 1999 (down from 45 million pounds in 1995), of which approximately 85% is allocated to the fixed-gear sector (longline hook and line and longline pot).

Historically, sablefish off Alaska were harvested by foreign fishermen (primarily Japanese). The extension of the Exclusive Economic Zone to 200 miles in 1976 initiated a more aggressive US domestic effort to harvest the resource and by the mid-1980s the fishery was fully “Americanized”. By 1988, over 750 vessels were prosecuting the fixed-gear fishery, thus repeating in all the conditions resulting from over-capitalization and the race for fish. Faced with these problems, the Council initiated action to impose some form of limited-access. Even as the Council examined alternatives, and after the IFQ alternative was selected, participation continued to increase. During the early 1990s, the average number of US vessels targeting sablefish in the fixed-gear fishery exceeded 1000 - a ten-fold increase from the early 1980s.


In the early 1980s, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council attempted to impose limited-entry on the halibut fishery (Pautzke and Oliver 1997). For a variety of reasons, these early attempts failed, so by 1985 the Council had turned its attention to other pressing business. However, with the full Americanization of the sablefish fishery by the mid-1980s, it became evident that over-capitalization was leading to chaos in the fisheries. At its meeting in November of 1988, the Council identified the following “problems” as they related to the sablefish fishery:

i. Allocation Conflicts
ii. Gear Conflicts
iii. Deadloss from Lost Gear
iv. High Discard Mortality Rates
v. Bycatch Mortality
vi. Excess Harvesting Capacity
vii. Product Wholesomeness (lack of)
viii. Safety at Sea (lack of)
ix. Economic Stability (lack of)
x. Need to develop a small boat fleet for rural communities.
These problems were also being felt in the halibut fishery. By 1990, the Council had added halibut to sablefish in its analysis of alternative management-systems with the goal of including both species under its developing Individual Fishing Quota plan.

Considerable debate ensued. Different sectors of the industry testified in different ways at dozens of public meetings and hearings. Tempers flared. The primary opposition was that management under IFQs would hurt the “little guy” - primarily the crew member with little experience and little investment, but a large dependence on income from the fisheries. Processors and fish-buyers were concerned and a shift in relative bargaining power between buyers and harvesters was anticipated. Those arguments intensified when it appeared the Council was leaning toward adopting an IFQ programme that would initially allocate the harvest privilege to vessel owners with the amount of the initial allocation based on their historic participation in the fishery (Pautzke and Oliver 1997).

Finally, in December 1991 the Council took a formal vote on the IFQ plan for halibut and sablefish; it was adopted, and work on creating the regulatory framework for the programme began in earnest culminating in the publication of a Final Rule in November 1993.


4.1 Nature of right

Under the terms of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, and the regulations that establish the IFQ programme, Quota Share (QS) and the annual amount of Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) derived from it constitute a harvest privilege, and may be legally revoked without compensation at any time. A person who holds QS/IFQ has not been granted an ownership right in the fish, nor have they been granted an absolute guarantee of access to fish. Procedures for managing the fisheries (research and quota-setting) were not affected by the IFQ programme. The International Pacific Halibut Commission is still responsible for conducting stock assessments and annually establishing area quotas (the Total Allowable Catch limits, or TACs) for halibut, and the Secretary of Commerce provides for fisheries research through the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and, acting on recommendations devised by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, still establishes the annual sablefish TACs.

Quota Share was initially issued to persons who owned or leased vessels upon which landings of halibut or sablefish had been made during any or all of the three “qualifying” years (1988, 1989 and 1990); the amount of QS was determined by summing that person’s total landings from the 5 “best” years between (1984-1990 (for halibut) and 1985-1990 (for sablefish). Once issued, the number of units of QS that one holds for any given regulatory area is a key determinant in the calculation of how many pounds of Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) may be annually issued to that person.2

2 Editor’s Note: This is an interesting example of divergence between the qualifiying period to participate in the programme and the period used to determine the indirect allocation.
4.2 Nature of QS and IFQ

QS is a permit with a variety of identifying characteristics including Species, Regulatory Area, Vessel Category, and “Blocked” or “Unblocked” QS.

There are two species (halibut and sablefish), four halibut-vessel categories and three sablefish-vessel categories, eight halibut regulatory-areas and six sablefish regulatory-areas and QS is issued as either blocked or unblocked. Taken in their different combination, these different indicators yield more than 100 different “types” of QS/IFQ, as follows:


2 (halibut or sablefish)

Regulatory areas:

8 halibut, 6 sablefish

Vessel categories:

4 halibut, 3 sablefish

Both species:

blocked or unblocked

Total halibut QS types:

8 x 4 x 2 = 64

Total sablefish QS types:

6 x 3 x 2 = 36

The relationship between QS and IFQ is explained below:

i. QS is a “permit,” the face amount of which is used to determine the annual IFQ amounts. It is designated in “units” of QS; once issued, most QS is transferable.

ii. IFQ, which is calculated and issued annually to those who hold QS. It is also a “permit,” and authorizes the harvest of a specific amount of pounds of fish [“net” (headed and gutted) pounds of halibut, and “round” pounds of sablefish] in specified IFQ Regulatory Areas, and with the appropriate category of vessel.

iii. Each year on 31 January, the units of QS in each IFQ regulatory area, and for both species, are totaled; the result is the Quota Share Pool (QSP) for that species and area;

iv. After the QSP is established, the QS holder’s annual IFQ is determined by dividing the units of QS held by the units of QS in the QSP and multiplying the remaining fraction times the Total Allowable Catch in that area. Thus:

4.3 Vessel categories

These different permit-types exist for different reasons, the primary one being to insure the perpetuation of the dominant characteristics of the longline fleet. To that end vessel-categories [which include catcher/processors, catcher vessels > 60ft length overall (LOA), catcher vessels between 35 and 60 feel LOA and catcher vessel < 35ft LOA] were established, as shown in Table 1.

Table 1: QS/IFQ Vessel Categories *Catcher Vessel IFQ may be “fished down”, i. e. fished on a smaller vessel but it may not be “fished up” (fished on a larger vessel)

Characteristic of vessel



Processor (any length)



*Catcher, >60’ LOA



*Catcher, 35’ to 60’ LOA


*Catcher, < 35’ LOA


4.4 Quota-share use caps

Another programme element designed to constrain consolidation is the existence of absolute caps on the amount of quota that any person, either individually or collectively, may hold and use. These caps vary by species and area, but none are greater than 1.5%, as illustrated in Table 2.

Table 2: QS Use Caps

IFQ Species

Regulatory Area(s)

QS Cap (as percent of QS)


Area 2c


Areas 2c, 3A, 3B


Areas 4A - 4E



Area SE


All Areas


4.5 Vessel IFQ caps

The amount of annual IFQ that may be fished from any given vessel is also limited to a small percentage. This provision, together with the vessel category restrictions, is to insure that the number of vessels used in the fisheries will not fall below one hundred. Table 3 shows the “vessel caps”.

Table 3: Vessel IFQ Caps

IFQ Species

Regulatory area(s)

QS Cap (as % of TAC)


Area 2c


All areas



Area SE


All areas


Additional steps have been set to insure protection for smaller owner-operators in the fishery. These include issuing some QS as indivisible blocks of QS (meaning they may not be subdivided or consolidated upon transfer), and further limiting the number of blocks of QS that any one person may hold. To achieve the goal of an owner-operated catcher-vessel fleet leasing of such QS/IFQ is prohibited.

Further, although transferable, QS is not the unstinted “property” of the person who holds it, and all transfers must be submitted to NMFS for approval before taking effect. Approval is provided if the proposed transferee is a person who received QS by initial issuance, or one who holds a Transfer Eligibility Certificate (TEC) as one who has demonstrated that they are bona fide fishermen (i.e. at least 150 days experience as a member of a harvesting crew in any US commercial fishery).

These intricate programme elements are designed to insure that quota is not consolidated into a few hands, and that IFQ is not fished from a small number of vessels. Some observers have expressed their belief that all of these “bells and whistles” create so many impediments to free transferability that, taken together, they undermine the goal of attaining the economic efficiencies that privatization under ITQ systems is intended to yield. However, the evidence to date indicates that this fear is not well founded.

Monitoring of individual harvests throughout the 8-month IFQ season is a critical element of the programme. To accomplish this, each IFQ fisherman must deliver the catch to a Registered Buyer who, in turn reports each landing on an electronic transaction terminal. This device, which is not unlike a credit card “swipe” machine, is used to transmit the landings data to the central NMFS IFQ computer where the amount of catch landed is deducted from the IFQ holder’s annual account. The computer calculates the balance and electronically returns that information to the fisherman using the terminal. By using the landing card, an IFQ holder can periodically check their IFQ balance, to insure that it is not exceeded.

Enforcement of the programme is also a challenge. A “four-tier” enforcement system consisting of patrol, monitoring, audits, and investigations has been established to encourage compliance with the programme requirements. (Matthews) Because there are no limitations on where IFQ fish may be landed (landings are made at some 40 ports on the coast of Alaska, British Colombia, and in Northwestern United States), considerable field work has been required, and a system of “hailing in” is also used to insure a reasonable opportunity for enforcement personnel to monitor IFQ as it is landed. The US Coast Guard has primary responsibility for at-sea patrol, while NMFS enforcement agents on shore carry out the other enforcement responsibilities.


5.1 Programme features

It is some of these “design elements” that make the Alaska IFQ programme unique and infernally complicated. Very strict (and low) caps on Quota holding, vessel limits, and the variety of characteristics discussed above, all work together to prevent the programmeoutcomes feared by those opposed to ITQ management, because of its perceived privatization of the public’s resources and the concern that small-vessel fishermen and their communities would be at a competitive disadvantage in the Quota marketplace and thus would be unemploymed or (for some, a far worse fate) wage-earners working for non-fishing absentee quota-owners. But it had to be implemented, and it must be managed over time - and those tasks required that the Federal Government increase its role.

5.2 Getting up and running - Creating the bureaucracy

The Alaska Region of the NMFS began to expend funds for the specific purpose of IFQ implementation during the spring of 1993. At that time, computer specialists were contracted to begin the process of building the computer database necessary for initial allocation of Quota Share. Later during the 1993 fishing year, a fisheries management specialist from Hawaii was brought to Juneau to identify and provide preliminary planning for the organizational infrastructure that would be needed to implement the programme.

The IFQ regulations were formally promulgated by the Secretary of Commerce in November 1993; just prior to that event, the Region hired a Division Chief whose mandate was the primary responsibility of initiating IFQ programme implementation. The implementation activity was set up within a new Restricted-Access Management (RAM) Division (now called a “Program”). The Division was to provide the administrative support for the IFQ programme together with any other limited access programmes administered by the Alaska Region.

5.3 Staffing/Personnel

By early 1994 the new unit’s staff had grown to include an Operations Manager, two Permit Specialists, two student aides and three contracted computer programmers. Within a few more months the Division had a staff at its current size and had begun formal processing of the more than 8000 Requests for application for QS that had been received by the Division. Current staff include the following personnel:


Programme Administrator


Data Manager


Permit Supervisor


Transfer Officer


Permit Assistants


Computer Specialists




Clerical support specialist


(Part-time) Student assistant.

To review decisions made by the Restricted Area Management Programme to deny QS applications (in whole or in part), the Region established an Office of Administrative Appeals. The Office is currently staffed with the following personnel:


Chief Appeals Officer (attorney)


Appeals Officers (attorneys)


Appeals Assistant.

The Alaska Enforcement Division also added personnel and established an enforcement presence in a variety of ports around the State of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest (Seattle area).

Maintaining the system, annually computing and issuing IFQ permits and cards, assessing and acting on applications for transfers, reporting on programme performance in a variety of venues, meeting with fishermen, adapting to programme changes and adjustments approved by the Council and related activities have required an on-going commitment of personnel and funds from the Restricted Area Management Programme, for appeals, and for the Alaska Enforcement Division. Table 4 displays the estimated annual cost of managing and enforcing the IFQ system.

5.4 Cost recovery

The 1996 amendments to the Magnuson-Stevens Act require the NMFS to develop a cost-recovery system to fund the costs of managing and enforcing the IFQ programme. The effort to publish a proposed way of accomplishing that goal is well advanced. This was discussed during this Conference (Smith and Sproul 2000). Summarized, it calls for IFQ fishermen to annually submit to NMFS a payment of no more than 3% of the ex-vessel value of their IFQ harvests. Failure to pay would result in a series of ever more drastic penalties, beginning with suspending the transferability of their quota. More recalcitrant fishermen could find that their annual IFQ permit(s) is not issued and (in extreme cases) their QS could be revoked. It is difficult to predict when the cost-recovery effort will be put in place, but some believe it will commence during the year 2000.

Table 4: Estimated annual costs of managing and
enforcing the Alaska halibut and sablefish IFQ programme in the Alaska Region

Expense category

Estimated annual costs in $US

Restricted access management and sustainable fisheries

1 400 000

Administrative appeals

200 000

Alaska enforcement Division

1 200 000


2 800 000


6.1 Conservation

The frantic race for fish that characterized the days of “derby fishing” is a thing of the past. Industry adapted well to the extended seasons, realizing the benefits of marketing a much-improved product at higher ex-vessel prices. In addition, a preliminary review of the conservation effects of the programme indicated that many of the conservation goals are being met (Gilroy et al. 1996).

6.2 Safety

Improving safety at sea was another major goal of the programme. According to the US Coast Guard, there were 11 search and rescue (SAR) missions undertaken for those participating in the IFQ fisheries during 1998. In the three years prior to the IFQ programme, there were an average of 28 SAR missions each year during the short, intense openings (O’Shea, V. pers.comm.).

6.3 Enforcement

Industry compliance with the myriad of regulations has been termed “generally good” by both the U.S. Coast Guard and the Alaska Enforcement Division of the National Marine Fisheries Service. During 1997 more than 1500 (14%) of IFQ deliveries were monitored by enforcement personnel resulting in 179 confiscations of halibut or sablefish (fish are confiscated when the total pounds landed exceeds the amount of available IFQ by more than 10%), for a confiscation rate of 1.6%. Reports of high-grading and under-reporting have been few and only anecdotal. Enforcement personnel are widely dispersed, however, and concern has been raised that more intense monitoring is needed to insure an acceptable level of compliance with programme regulations (Meyer, S. pers. comm.).

6.4 Transfers and consolidation of shares and vessels

Through year-end 1997, transfer activity was intense, as QS holders (and “newcomers”) undertook to reposition themselves within the industry. During 1998 the number of transfers declined, as the “shake-out” from initial issuance began to be realized. Many transfers occurred because QS holders wished to consolidate their holdings in Administrative Areas close to their home. Some departed the fishery (thus leading to consolidation), while others entered the fishery for the first time. Overall, more than 15% of the QS was transferred each year during the first four years of the programme. Table 5 summarizes all QS/IFQ transfers by year.

Table 5: Summary of all QS/IFQ transfer activities by year 1994 through Year-End 1997

Transfer activity




1995 - all transfers




1996 - all transfers




1997 - all transfers




1998 - all transfers




Consolidation of shares into the hands of fewer QS holders was a goal of the programme. Throughout the first four years the number of halibut QS holders (single) declined from 4827 individuals who received QS through the initial issuance to 3795 people at the end of 1997, a decline of 1032. In the sablefish fishery, a similar decline in the numbers of people holding shares has occurred, though the decline has not been as dramatic, from 1048 holders who received QS initially to 919 holding QS at the end of 1998).

Perhaps the most dramatic decline has been in the numbers of vessels deployed in the fishery. As Table 6 below shows, the numbers of vessels in both fisheries has declined precipitously from the three years prior to the implementation of the IFQ programme in 1995.

6.5 Distributional outcomes

A concern of many observers when the IFQ programme was being developed was that the transferability of quota would result in a loss of “fishing power” by Alaskans. There is no evidence that this has happened; in fact, from initial issuance through year-end 1997, the net distribution of quota to Alaskans has increased by about 5%.

Another fact of this concern is that quota might be transferred from holders who reside in the smaller communities (primarily Alaskan natives) to those who live in the larger communities. To examine this possibility, a series of reports on the “drain” of limited entry permits (issued by the State of Alaska, primarily for the salmon and herring fisheries) and Quota from these communities have recently been completed. The reports show that there has, indeed, been a decline in the amount of QS held by residents of those smaller communities; however, they also demonstrate that the mean gross earnings (ex-vessel value) from the fisheries have increased considerably for those who have remained active in the fisheries. Leaders of the communities have been meeting with the NMFS and with the Council to consider different approaches to the problem (one of which is allowing for a certain amount of the QS allocated to the Gulf of Alaska to be held by non-profit corporations established by the communities).

Finally, concerns were expressed that the programme would result in “locking out” individuals from the fishery. In fact, as of year-end 1998, QS was held by 785 new entrants who had received QS by transfer. Their holdings accounted for slightly more than 11% of the halibut quota and slightly less than 5% of the sablefish quota.

Table 6: Vessels participating in the IFQ fisheries 1992 throught year-end 1998

IFQ Fishery

























The Alaska halibut/sablefish IFQ programme demonstrates that many of the theoretical benefits and efficiencies of ITQ management (i.e “privatization”) may be realized, even though the harvest privilege itself is narrowly defined and very tightly managed by government. However, for every impediment to the free workings of the marketplace that is built into an ITQ programme, there is a trade-off in terms of loss of efficiency and increased government administrative infrastructure and cost. Managers who seek to achieve certain social and economic goals as they design ITQ programmes should be aware that the price of doing so may well be “more government”.


Casey, K.E., C.M. Dewees, B.R. Turris and J.E. Wilen. 1995. The Effects of Individual Vessel Quotas in the British Columbia Halibut Fishery, Marine Resource Economics, 10:211-230.

Dinneford, E., K. Schelle, K. Iverson and B. Muse 1998. Changes Under Alaska’s Halibut/Sablefish IFQ Programme, 1995 to 1997. State of Alaska, Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission, Juneau, Alaska.

Gilroy, H., P.J. Sullivan, S.M. Lowe and J.M. Terry 1996. Preliminary Assessment of the Halibut and Sablefish IFQ Programmes in Terms of Nine Potential Conservation Effects, International Pacific Halibut Commission and Alaska Fisheries Science Center; prepared for the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.

Hoag, S., G.J. Peltonen and L.L. Sadorus. 1993. Technical Report No. 27: Regulations of the Pacific Halibut Fishery, 1977-1992, International Pacific Halibut Commission, Seattle, Washington.

Mathews, D. 1997. Beyond IFQ Implementation: a Study of Enforcement Issues in the Alaska Individual Fishing Quota Program. National Marine Fisheries Service, Office of Law Enforcement, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA.

National Research Council 1999. Sharing the Fish: toward a national policy on individual fishing quotas, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.

NMFS (National Marine Fisheries Service) 1996 Restricted Access Management. Implementation of Halibut and Sablefish IFQ Programme, North Pacific Fishery Management Council.

NMFS (National Marine Fisheries Service) 1999 Restricted Access Management. Report to the Fleet.

Pautzke, C.G. and C.W. Oliver 1997. Development of the IFQ Programme for Sablefish and Halibut Longline Fisheries off Alaska. North Pacific Fishery Management Council Presentation to the National Research Council’s “Committee to Review Individual Fishing Quotas”, Anchorage, Alaska.

Schelle, K., E. Dinneford, K. Iverson, and B. Muse. 1999. Holdings of Limited Entry Permits, Sablefish Quota Shares, and Halibut Quota Shares through 1998, and Data on Gross Fishery Earnings. State of Alaska, Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission, Juneau, Alaska.

Smith, P.J. and J.J. Sproul 2000 A Proposal for Cost Recovery in the Alaska Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) Fisheries. In: Use of Property Rights in Fisheries Management, FAO Fisheries Technical Paper 404/2.

Towards a Better Future in Fisheries Management: Rights-based Fisheries Management in Western Australia - P.P. Rogers

Fisheries WA, S G I O Atrium, Level 3, 170 St George’s Terrace
Perth, WA 6000 Australia
< [email protected]>


Limited Entry Fisheries Management arrangements in Western Australia extend over some 36 years. Licence limitation through input controls were first introduced for the State’s largest fisheries for Western Rock Lobster and prawns in Shark Bay 1963 as principally input-controlled arrangements. These limitations initially focussed on licence and total gear limits, with more detailed management arrangements coming in place in subsequent years.

Today (1999) in Western Australia there exist some 35 limited-entry managed fisheries with a variety of input and output controls whose value is approximately $A550 m1 throughout. Managed arrangements focused primarily on the commercial fishing industry. The management attention is in the main given to strategies to ensure resource sustainability, with management decision-making backed up by fisheries research and compliance programmes.

1 All values in this paper are in Australian dollars.

The Western Australian legislative base for fisheries management is derived from English common law principles, with fisheries being open to unlimited access and exploitation unless constrained by specific management arrangements supported by legislation. This legislation focusses on restricting access to particular stocks. This means that any person with a licensed fishing boat could exploit any species, unless there was in place a prohibition, or a management plan, which restricted access to those fishermen having a particular licence authorising them to fish.

This situation and legislative approach resulted in the general fishing fleet continuing to expand without limitation until 1983. This led to fisheries-management for specific fish stocks being introduced, often in a situation of already-existing excess fishing capacity. This in turn, under almost every fishery management arrangement, was exacerbated as fishing technology continued to improve.

The only significant commercial fisheries where management came into effect at an early stage of development were the Shark Bay and Exmouth Gulf prawn fisheries and the take of shell for pearl culture purposes in the Western Australian pearl oyster fishery.

Ultimately, in an endeavour to address this common law issue of unrestricted access to unmanaged fisheries, a freeze was placed on the further licensing of fishing boats within Western Australia in 1983. This problem of existing latent and excess fishing capacity was formally recognised by Government and industry following consideration of future management options for Western Australian fisheries in 1986. This led to legislation being introduced to allow the establishment of voluntary fishing-licence buy-back schemes. These tools were used between 1986 and 1999 for a continued attack on excess fishing-capacity within both managed and unmanaged sectors of the Western Australian fishing industry. Buy-back and fishery capacity reduction schemes within managed fisheries gradually saw the West Australian fishing fleet shrinking from its peak licence number of 1615 units in 1985 to 1361 by 30 June 1998.

The period 1973 to 1999 is also characterized by goodwill values tied to fishing licences of various types increasing from a total of about $A25m in 1973 to in excess of $A1.8 billion by 1998/99. This huge increase in market values tied to fishing licences largely arose from a combination of three principal factors. The first was a significant shift in long-term exchange rates in favour of Australia’s principal seafood export markets, Japan and USA, with the depreciation of the Australian dollar. Second, new fisheries management arrangements allowed longer-term fleet size adjustments, offsetting both increases in catching-efficiency and capitalisation within the fishing fleet, thereby assisting profit and industry performance. Third, management arrangements themselves provided industry with the flexibility to allow industry operators to maximise the economic returns from their operations within a continuing framework of sustainable fisheries management. The combination of these factors, together with better certainty arising from bankers and lending institutions being able to record third party interests in licences on a central register, has meant significant economic rents have been captured by the Western Australian fishing fleet and industry.

These extraordinary outcomes have meant that the Western Australian fishing fleet is by and large profitable, reasonably financially secure and based on sustainable fish stocks. Managed fishery licences attract very high market values. Many fishermen hold capital assets of large value which has added to their individual capacity to invest into adjacent fisheries and in other industries. The success of Western Australian fisheries has also been a significant factor in driving boat construction within Western Australia, resulting in the State being the centre of commercial boat construction for Australia as a whole. One can also conclude that the fishing industry within Western Australia is one of the better primary industry sectors within Australia in which to invest.


The current management framework enables the Government to introduce a range of management arrangements of specific stocks or fisheries within Western Australia. These cover quotas in their various forms, including ITQs and total allowable catch limits, and any variation or combination of biological and other input-controls necessary to support such management arrangements. These have included gear limitations, licensed boat limitations, time/gear unitization of fishing access, as well as gear unitizations. At an extreme, individual transferable effort-units made up of daily time gear-access units linked to satellite vessel-monitoring systems have recently been successfully introduced.

The traditional approach to planning when bringing fisheries under management has focused on a number of key issues. These include historical catch criteria for the granting of licences and levels of access, rules controlling fishing capacity - whether quotas or input-controls in their various forms - different biological controls aimed at protecting fish, area closures, etc. The legislation also provides for the creation of tribunals to deal with technical and equity appeals arising from the introduction of management plans for fishermen. Fishermen who have a case to bring forward are therefore able to obtain an independent review of administrative decisions on access entitlements and licensing.

The approach historically applied to bring fisheries under management on almost all occasions within Western Australia has involved the creation of management advisory committees. These provide a consultative forum for the Government and affected industry, bringing management into place for particular fish stocks or fisheries. The representative industry and recreational fishing bodies within the State also provide important sector-wide input to Government on individual management proposals. The result is that the management arrangements adopted usually balance between providing resource sustainability and equity for fishermen’s access. Once a management plan has been established and implemented, changes to the plans require formal consultation with those in the affected fishery either directly or through management advisory committees.

For fisheries managed using input-controls, fishing capacity reduction rules are also sometimes built into management plans in recognition of the phenomenon of latent fishing capacity and the longer-term need for ongoing adjustment mechanisms.

Fishing capacity adjustment mechanisms have included unit-value changes in relation to quota adjustments, licence buy-back arrangements either funded by industry, or jointly by Government and industry or capacity reduction arrangements built-in at the time of licence transfers. In some gear input-controlled fisheries, capacity reduction has also taken the form of gear unit reductions across the fleet in the same way that quota reductions are often managed.

An additional arm of fisheries management in more recent years has been the development of resource-sharing mechanisms to deal with the increasing conflict between the commercial and recreational fisheries sectors over resource harvests.

In some cases there has been a deliberate shift of resource-use from one group in the community to the other. This has taken two major thrusts. The first has focussed on local funding of reductions in commercial fishing operations for the benefit of the wider community. The second has been a formal process of negotiations, led by an independent mediator, which involves the major commercial and recreational fishing stakeholder interests and Government aimed at reaching a settlement on particular resource-sharing conflicts. The results may be formal licence reductions; spatial or temporal user-group separations or some combinations of these.


4.1 Rock lobster

Western Rock lobster is Australia’s largest single-species fishery. Entry was limited in 1963 in an endeavour to constrain further growth in fishing effort through new boats entering the fishery. Constraints on the number of pots used within the fishery were also imposed. The grant of a licence was based on prior fishing history and having a licensed boat authorised to use rock lobster pots in the period prior to the declaration of the fishery. Appeals for access to the fishery were dealt with administratively by the Director of Fisheries.

Licensed vessels were limited to allocation of pots based on a formula of three pots per foot of surveyed boat-length. The maximum number of pots allocated to any single vessel was 200. The effect of these measures was to reduce the total fishing capacity from approximately 97 000 pots to approximately 76 000 and to stabilize fleet size at about 840 boats. Biological controls such as the legal minimum-size and protection of berried-females were important conservation foods.

During the formative years of this fishery, the fisheries agency’s focus at the time was to enforce existing management rules. This included the imposition of limits in the number of rock lobster processors, which stamped out a widespread practice of illegal take of undersized rock lobster, and bringing fishermen who used excess numbers of pots under control.

By 1965 new boat-replacement rules were implemented to limit further expansion in boat size and associated expansion in pot usage. By the early 1970s both over-potting and the illegal take of undersize rock lobster were effectively under control. As a result, these management arrangements gradually saw the emergence of goodwill values tied to licences when transferred. In 1973 licence values on pot transfers were estimated to be approximately $A200 per pot.

The period 1975 to 1993 saw an unparalleled growth in pot values increasing from about $A400 to in excess of $A12 000 a pot by 1993.

As the monetary values for these licences increased there was a continual increase in fishing effort as latent capacity within the fleet was taken up, driven by within-industry fishing competition, improvements in fishing technology and the need to reduce individual debt. Growth in fishing-effort and its impact on breeding stocks required ongoing adjustments to the fishery. These included shortening of the fishing season by six weeks in 1978, followed by a total pot reduction of 10% over five years between 1986 and 1991.

Despite these measures, the exploitation rate after each effort-adjustment continued to grow. The trading of pot entitlements and provisions for total pot redistributions also enabled the fishing fleet to continually adjust. There was a gradual long-term reduction in boat numbers, accompanied by an increase in average pot holdings per licence and boat size. The elements of competition between fishermen led many fishermen to continually upgrade their vessels and the emergence of a high-tech efficient catching fleet.

By the early 1990s the rock lobster fleet had shrunk to approximately 620 boats. There was also a rise in scientific and industry concern that breeding stock levels had fallen to 15-17% of virgin biomass. This led to substantial debate within industry about future management measures, ultimately resulting in the introduction of a package of temporary pot reductions of 18%, the protection of setose (pregnant) females and changes in gauge sizes during the migrating phase of the rock lobster, as well as protection for large female rock lobsters.

This package, developed by the Rock Lobster Industry Advisory Committee in consultation with the industry was controversial as the effects of the elements were not uniform across the fishery. Despite the controversy around the components of the package they were implemented over a two-year period and later extended until the present time. Recent analysis has shown that the package was successful in reversing falling breeding stock levels, principally through a combination of setose protection and pot reductions reducing overall exploitation rates. Breeding stock levels have risen from the estimated 15-17% of the estimated unfished virgin breeding biomass to between 25-30%, ensuring the sustainability of the fishery.

The introduction of the package in 1993 saw pot values rapidly rise from $A12 000 to in excess of $A30 000 a pot. This occurred in combination with higher ex-vessel prices for rock lobster. Pot values fell to around $A18 000 a pot when ex-vessel prices for rock lobster fell from about $A28/kg down to $A19/kg in early 1998/99.

The experience of the 1998/99 season shows that even with a reduction in fishing capacity through the 18% temporary pot reduction and other controls, a record catch of 13 000t could be taken by the fishing fleet. Current pot prices in response to the outcomes of the 1998/99 season and predictions of an even higher catch in 1999/2000 year has seen pot values recover to around A$25 000/pot.

Today, the rock lobster industry, in the main, considers the fishery to be in a ecologically sustainable state with considerable medium to longer-term investment optimism within the fishery. The management focus since 1993, following the success of the management actions in reversing the long-term reductions in breeding stocks levels has shifted towards maximising economic returns instead of sustainability alone.

This shift in direction has generated a new controversy within the industry about the role of the Rock Lobster Industry Advisory Committee and whether industry management committees should advise Government to change management arrangements for essentially short-term market benefits, rather that just focussing on stock sustainability.

Industry is divided on this issue. This has caused in some sectors of industry a call to review the role of the Rock Lobster Industry Advisory Committee, including its structure and processes. The level of dissatisfaction has also led to the establishment of an Inquiry by the Legislative Council of the Western Australian Parliament. This is currently reviewing the role of the fisheries agency and the Rock Lobster Industry Advisory Committee in the management of the rock lobster industry.

Against this background of controversy the Western Australian Fishing Industry Council, which is the representative fishing industry body for Western Australia, is seeking to gain Marine Stewardship Council endorsement for the fishery in recognition of the successful management arrangements for the western rock lobster fishery. This accreditation, if achieved, will be a world first.

4.2 Shark Bay and Exmouth Gulf Prawn Fisheries

These two fisheries were first managed on a limited-entry basis in 1963 and 1965 respectively. Access was determined based on fishing history with the predominant number of licences given to companies ownership investing in prawn processing facilities at Carnarvon and Exmouth. In both fisheries more than half of the licences were granted to those processing companies, with the balance provided to independent trawler operators. Initial gear controls included a maximum of 2 trawl nets per boat.

The fisheries were closely monitored through log-book programmes for research from the start. The data collected enabled decisions to be made in the context of Gulland’s approach of incremental increase in effort so that over-fishing does not occur. Between 1963 and the mid 1970s the number of licences within each fishery expanded from 25 in Shark Bay to 35 boats by 1975 and in Exmouth Gulf from 16 vessels to 23 over a similar period. By the late 1970s the fishery was in both cases operating at sustainable levels with no real requirement for further increases in the size of the licensed fleet.

By the early 1980s, following a series of boat replacements even within the constraints on boat size and fishing power, excess fishing effort occurred resulting in demonstrated over fishing of tiger prawn stocks within Exmouth Gulf and later in Shark Bay.

The 1980s was a difficult period for management of both fisheries as fisheries managers working with industry attempted to manage the recovery of tiger prawn stocks within Exmouth Gulf and Shark Bay. Early approaches in Exmouth Gulf focussed on an initial reduction of the licensed fishing fleet by 4 vessels, involving an industry-funded, government-backed voluntary licence buy-back supplemented and supported by a progression of area closures which provided for gradual recovery of the fishery over 5 to 6 years. Fishing effort and catches are linked to catch rates of adult tiger prawns as indices of residual breeding stock levels and therefore estimated recruitment levels the following year. This cautious approach to stock recovery enabled the existing industry within Exmouth Gulf to survive financially whilst recovery was underway.

The approach in Shark Bay differed in that spatial closures were less successful in initially recovering the tiger prawn fishery which although not collapsed, moved at about half the levels in the 1980s, as in the 1970s. The joint pressures of declining long-term price trends in prawns, together with the increasing view that tiger prawn stocks were overfished and recovery would be possible by lowering fishing effort, led industry to the conclusion that better economic performance in the fisheries could be achieved by further licence reductions.

Two years of negotiation within both the Exmouth Gulf and Shark Bay sectors led to an industry-funded Government-backed buy-back scheme for both fisheries in 1990. This resulted in the removal of 8 licences from the 35 in Shark Bay at a cost of $A9.6m and removal of 3 of the 19 licences in Exmouth Gulf at a cost of $A3m. These arrangements were negotiated by the fisheries agency which also provided legislative support. By the end of the 1990s both the Exmouth Gulf and the Shark Bay prawn fisheries were in a sound biological and economic state. Individual boat prawns catches in excess of 80/t/yr are now achievable in both fisheries.

4.3 Other Western Australian fisheries

As noted, Western Australia has about 35 managed fisheries. Many have come into place in the last decade and involve small unit fisheries. Management arrangements cover a huge variety of approaches and thus a range of access rights granted by licensing arrangements. Some of these fisheries have proved successful in their management arrangements whilst others have proven difficult to manage, particularly given the uncertainties associated with research advice and environmental variability that affects both recruitment and production levels.

The experience in bringing many of these fisheries under management arrangements during the last decade indicate that the negotiations with industry on management arrangements are often equally as difficult for small fisheries as for large fisheries. The licensing rights allocation issues are often driven by the success of the larger fisheries with the objective by some industry interests focussed on gaining access rights because of the recognised goodwill values generated by successful management arrangements. This factor alone has seen many fishermen seeking to bring individual fisheries under management to reduce the impact of new entrants, and excess fishing capacity and to maximise their own pecuniary interests.

The experiences associated with a member of these smaller fisheries are reported in detail in other workshop papers at this conference, for instance Cooper and Joll #, Borg #.


Licence-limitation has been a key tool in creating rights of various forms through fisheries management. In Western Australia they have manifestly expressed themselves in high market prices which are captured by fishermen on licence transfer. Within the larger fisheries the markets are well understood and supported by financial institutions. However, in the smaller fisheries considerable uncertainty continues around the market value of licences and their security as collateral in the development of individual fishermen’s business arrangements.

Quasi property rights in the form of licence arrangements are sufficient to attract considerable market value. Statutory rights, although regarded as superior as a full form of property, and thus desirable, are not essential for fishermen to gain substantially from property rights in their various forms.

There are many lessons to be learnt from the history of fisheries management arrangements in Western Australia. Given the opportunity, a number of issues might well be treated differently. These are described below.

i. Fisheries management needs to be based on a total framework dealing with rights-based management across all sectoral groups. In other words once determining an ecological sustainable yield, the use of that resource needs to be allocated to individual sectors and managed accordingly.
Neither Australia, nor Western Australia, is managing their fisheries in the context of a total framework for resource management. This must change if there is to be proper resolution of the problems of growth in recreational fishing pressure, changes that accommodate the use of fish for conservation and Aboriginal usage, and access entitlements established by the commercial fishing fleet. For example, when one looks at the rock lobster fishery in Western Australia, commercial fishing rights have largely been provided by licensed access through the present management arrangements. In the period 1970 to 1999 recreational fishing pressure has continued to expand with population size. Recreational rock lobster take has increased as a proportion of the total catch from around 3% to 6-8%. This changing use of fish as populations increase is a clear challenge for Australia in dealing with impacts of coastal residential development and the ability to adjust commercial fisheries in a sustainable way in the face of changing use of fish. Without a comprehensive framework for managing all sectors, issues around long-term resource-sharing will become increasingly litigatious and security around access will become increasingly problematic. Governments ought not leave these issues to be determined by the courts. A comprehensive allocation-and rights-framework for fisheries provides, in my opinion, greater longer-term decision-making certainty.
ii. The early adoption of a development fishery framework that recognises pioneer rights appears to be a better approach for allowing commercial fisheries expansion rather than one of unlimited open-access to unmanaged fisheries resources.
Such a framework would enable a less-costly approach to fisheries management and reduce some of the excesses and consequences of surplus fishing-capacity on fish stocks. This would, of course, require a completely different framework and legislative base for the management of fisheries and provide for perhaps more orderly and less consequential impacts of growth in capital investment and fleet fishing capacity.
iii. A greater rent-return to the community that could be directed to the management of the small, often more complex, fish stocks, may lead to a better overall outcome for fisheries resource management.
The failure of Government in early years to capture a more substantial part of the economic-rent from fishing has generally meant that insufficient resources have been put into research to address the many questions around the management of fisheries. The introduction of cost-recovery arrangements in Western Australia, while addressing the longer-term management needs of the State’s largest commercial fisheries, is not an effective tool to deal with many of the State’s smaller finfish fisheries. If a higher rate of return had been captured in the early development years of the State’s fisheries, it might have resulted in some reductions in growth in over-capitalization of the commercial fishing fleet. At the same time, rent-capture would have helped the community allocate resources to address long-term research needs for many of the smaller State’s fisheries especially where there are multiple-use groups. Of course, today there is a real difficulty in turning back the clock because of the now-substantial capital investment made by the more recent entrants into the fishing industry.
iv. Adequate resourcing of management agencies.
Funding of research and management in almost all circumstances is inadequate to deal with today’s issues, let alone those that need to be addressed for the future. Unless funding properly address today’s and tomorrow’s issues, management by its nature will be reactive rather than proactive and often too late.
v. The form and nature of an appeals body that reviews access-rights and administrative decision-making can have an important impact on the success, or otherwise, of fisheries management.
In our experience a part-time legal tribunal has proven to be expensive and on occasion, inconsistent in relation to fisheries policy and decisions taken. Some decisions by tribunals based on law have resulted in outcomes which are neither consistent with the intent of the management agency nor with the advisory committee management plans that were established. Consideration needs to be given to issues such as whether such an appeals body ought to be of a permanent nature and take a less legalistic route in dealing with matters of equity. The composition of such tribunals ought to extend beyond the legal profession and involve the mix of skills found in the community, business and law. Such an approach should be considered instead of treating tribunals solely as a place for legal advocacy in the same way as court jurisdictions. Defining the realm of the jurisdiction of the tribunal with guiding business rules in relation to legislation would also help.
vi. There continues to be a need for skills-based management advisory committees rather than those based on industry representation.
As fisheries management progresses to deal with issues which extend beyond matters of sustainability, new skills are required to encompass the wider objectives of resource management. These ought to include professional skills from outside the fishing industry in order to balance some of the pecuniary interests which drive decision-making around resource management. In my judgement representative-based management in the longer-term may cause fisheries management to be more conservative and less reactive to the needs for change to give effect to longer-term competitiveness.
vii. Stock assessments of many smaller fisheries cannot be undertaken with adequate accuracy because of inability to justify the required research or other priorities.
A different approach and methodology need to be developed so as to give greater objectivity to risk assessment and decision-making in relation to management of smaller fisheries. This requires the development of new techniques and the use of field monitoring to provide indicators of fishery health perhaps in the form of indices of fish abundance, recruitment levels or independent measures of spawning stock levels. This approach needs careful evaluation and further development.


Fisheries WA has been involved in limited-entry management arrangements for 36 years. Much of the fisheries management planning and issues around the granting of access entitlements has been reported through the agency’s management series reports and miscellaneous management papers over the last 20 years covering in excess of 130 titles. Further reading is suggested in the short bibliography attached to this paper. Some of the lessons learnt over 20 years of fisheries management within a regime of licence entitlements as a form of input/output property rights are summarized below. They are matters for discussion and may not have universal application.

i. When governments announce decisions about establishing new management regimes, fishermen invariably respond by increasing exploitation to demonstrate higher performance in order to try to gain greater access-rights.

ii. Some members of the fishing industry cheat on data-reports so as to maximise their personal interests. Independent verification of catch performance is particularly important.

iii. Good legislation is the key to successful management. Controversial decisions invariably lead to legal action and early preparation of legal briefs to offset the risk of injunctive court relief can be appropriate.

iv. In the preparation and implementation of fisheries management plans one should ensure that the pivotal role between the Minister and the agency is not compromised by litigation and/or industry lobbying. On almost all occasions relevant Ministers, the Cabinet and particularly influential back-bench parliamentary-groups need to be properly briefed.

v. The risk of failure particularly in relation to the consultation process and growing industry support for change, should be recognised - and prepared for.

vi. It should be understood that the nature and form of fishing rights can complicate adjustment mechanisms. As a rule, market-based mechanisms in the long-term tend to be more successful than government intervention. However, the illiquidity or thinness of markets may be an issue in the case of small fisheries.

vii. Managers and governments, particularly ministers, need to recognise that there is a tendency for industry management advisory committees to find reasons to avoid hard decisions for fisheries management when fisheries are in a crisis. Normal responses are that research is inadequate, more data are required, independent peer review is needed, there is a sudden lack of faith in data-reporting systems, and uncertainties of data due to environment make decisions impossible, etc. The key to successful fisheries management continues to be good science and trust between the industry and government sectors, but ultimately the decision-makers will have to make hard decisions.

viii. The precautionary principle for conservative decision-making is difficult to implement in practice. This is particularly so when politicians, despite their rhetoric, do not support difficult decisions concerning the resources because of constituency or economic reasons. In the end good science is the key tool.

ix. Wealth-creation can in itself generate a new suite of outcomes. While it is easier to manage profitable fisheries in terms of addressing sustainability issues; success too can develop its own problems and may result in potentially higher litigation risks over fisheries-administration decisions.

x. Direct industry and community involvement with, and facilitated through, representative bodies can make a significant difference to successfully introducing new fisheries management arrangements. This approach can be essential in achieving successful stakeholder briefing and consensual decision-making.

xi. Successful fisheries management requires appropriate structures and processes, and effective liaison between industry and government as well as good science and appropriate legislative frameworks. Property-rights themselves create an opportunity for the fishing industry to take more responsible approaches to management. Government managers must be conscious of their wider stewardship-role and gain the support and confidence of industry and other key stakeholders in resource management decision-making.

xii. Governments have the prime role in the stewardship for community use of fish resources. As the final decision-makers they must bear the ultimate responsibility for both the form and nature of property rights and establishing appropriate mechanisms to deal with the long-term changing requirements of the community. The development of a total resource framework that is responsive to the security needs of the fishing industry and other user-groups is important and by necessity ought to involve some form of licence access or property right reform.


Fisheries management in most jurisdictions combines its history, the legislative framework within which it operates, development approaches undertaken and institutional frameworks in place, as much as the nature and form of the exploited resources and how they are harvested.

Western Australia’s history in fisheries management has been built around limited-entry fisheries and freedom of access until management arrangements have been put in place. By and large fisheries management focusses on economic performance, and industry sustainability has been successful, based on effective industry consultation, legislation and valuable resources. As Western Australia moves into the 21st century the main issue facing long-term sustainability is how the Western Australia government proposes to manage recreational fisheries, and the longer-term growing impacts of population growth and coastal development.

To achieve long-term resource sustainability and security of access for the commercial fishing industry, a new framework of fisheries management is required. It must be based on a broad resource-sharing framework that allows the use and management of fish taken by different sectors of the community within ecologically sustainable catch limits. The challenge will be to address this requirement and to develop a sufficiently robust framework that in the long-term allows market forces, to adjust resource-use between and within the various sectors.

For this to work the community and its principal stake-holders need to decide upon the nature and form of future fisheries management resource approaches and agree on how future priorities in resource-use are to be met and modified over time. For this to be successful requires that the government and fisheries managers to lead, both in terms of the public debate that must arise, and allow the community to set new directions for fisheries management.

Failure to address this debate and to achieve agreement on an acceptable framework can only diminish the total value of access-rights around commercial fisheries in Western Australia in the long-term, and increasingly put at risk the future of many of the State’s smaller commercial fisheries. This especially is true for those fisheries vulnerable to greater access and exploitation by the state’s growing population and consequential expansion in the use of fish for recreation, conservation and traditional aboriginal fishing requirements. The challenge for government, and particularly the State’s political leaders, is to take charge and be part of such a public debate and to achieve community consensus on these issues.


Borg, J.# Estuaries in Western Australia - an integrated approach to management.

Bowen, B.K. 1970. Management of the Western Rocklobster. Proc. Indo Pacific Fish Coun. 14 (II): pp. 139-153.

Bowen B.K. and D.A. Hancock 1984. The limited entry prawn fisheries of Western Australia: research and management. In Gulland, J.A and B.J. Rothschild (editors) Penaeid Shrimps - Their biology and management. Fishing News Books. pp. 272-290.

Cooper, L. and L. Joll # The scalefish fisheries of Northern Western Australia - the use of transferable effort allocations in the management of multi-species scalefish fisheries.

Rogers, P and P. Millington 1994. Recent Management experience in Western Australian fisheries. Fisheries Economics Newsletter, 37 (June 1994) pp. 2-153.


1. The Report of the Southern Western Australian Shark Working Group. Chairman P. Millington (1986).

2. The report of the Fish Farming Legislative Review Committee. Chairman P. Rogers (1986).

3. Management Measures for the Shark Bay Snapper 1987 Season. P. Millington (1986)

4. The Esperance Rock Lobster Working Group. Chairman A. Pallot (1986).

5. The Windy Harbour - Augusta Rock Lobster Working Group. Interim Report by the Chairman A. Pallot (1986).

6. The King George Sound Purse Seine Fishery Working Group. Chairman R. Brown (1986).

7. Management Measures for the Cockburn Sound Mussel Fishery. H. Brayford (1986).

8. Report of the Rock Lobster Industry Advisory meeting of 27 January 1987. Chairman B. Bowen (1987).

9. Western Rock Lobster Industry Compensation Study. Arthur Young Services (1987).

10. Further Options for Management of the Shark Bay Snapper Fishery. P. Millington (1987).

11. The Shark Bay Scallop Fishery. L. Joll (1987).

12. Report of the Rock Lobster Industry Advisory Committee to the Hon Minister for Fisheries 24 September 1987. (1987)

13. A Development Plan for the South Coast Inshore Trawl Fishery. (1987)

14. Draft Management Plan for the Perth Metropolitan Purse Seine Fishery. P. Millington (1987).

15. Draft management plan, Control of barramundi gillnet fishing in the Kimberley. R. S. Brown (1988).

16. The South West Trawl Fishery Draft Management Plan. P. Millington (1988).

17. The final report of the pearling industry review committee. F.J. Malone, D.A. Hancock, B. Jeffriess (1988).

18. Policy for Freshwater Aquaculture in Western Australia. (1988)

19. Sport Fishing for Marron in Western Australia - Management for the Future. (1988)

20. The Offshore Constitutional Settlement, Western Australia 1988.

21. Commercial fishing licensing in Western Australia. (1989)

22. Economics and marketing of Western Australian pilchards. SCP Fisheries Consultants Pty Ltd (1988).

23. Management of the south-west inshore trawl fishery. N. Moore (1989)

24. Management of the Perth metropolitan purse-seine fishery. N. Moore (1989).

25. Rock Lobster Industry Advisory Committee report to the Minister for Fisheries November 1988. (1989)

26. A report on marron fishing in Western Australia. Chairman Doug Wenn MLC (1989).

27. A review of the Shark Bay pearling industry. Dr D.A. Hancock, (1989).

28. Southern demersal gillnet and longline fishery. (1989)

29. Distribution and marketing of Western Australian rock lobster. P. Monaghan (1989).

30. Foreign investment in the rock lobster industry. (1989)

31. Rock Lobster Industry Advisory Committee report to the Hon Minister for Fisheries September 1989. (1989)

32. Fishing Licences as security for loans. P. Rogers (1989)

33. Guidelines for by-laws for those Abrolhos Islands set aside for fisheries purposes. N. Moore (1989).

34. The future for recreational fishing - issues for community discussion. Recreational Fishing Advisory Committee (1990).

35. Future policy for charter fishing operations in Western Australia. P. Millington (1990).

36. Long term management measures for the Cockburn Sound restricted entry fishery. P. Millington (1990).

37. Western rock lobster industry marketing report 1989/90 season. MAREC Pty Ltd (1990).

38. The economic impact of recreational fishing in Western Australia. R.K. Lindner, P.B. McLeod (1991).

39. Establishment of a registry to record charges against fishing licences when used as security for loans. P. Rogers. (1991)

40. The future for Recreational Fishing - Forum Proceedings. Recreational Fishing Advisory Committee (1991)

41. The future for Recreational Fishing - The Final Report of the Recreational Fishing Advisory Committee. Recreational Fishing Advisory Committee (1991).

42. Appendix to the final report of the Recreational Fishing Advisory Committee. (1991)

43. A discussion of options for effort reduction. Southern Gillnet and Demersal Longline Fishery Management Advisory Committee (1991).

44. A study into the feasability of establishing a system for the buy-back of salmon fishing authorisations and related endorsements. (1991)

45. Draft Management Plan, Kimberley Prawn Fishery. (1991)

46. Rock Lobster Industry Advisory Committee, Chairman’s report to the Minister (1992)

47. Long term management measures for the Cockburn Sound restricted entry fishery. Summary of submissions and final recommendations for management. P. Millington (1992).

48. Pearl oyster fishery policy guidelines (Western Australian Pearling Act 1990). Western Australian Fisheries Joint Authority (1992).

49. Management plan, Kimberley prawn fishery. (1992)

50. Draft management plan, South West beach seine fishery. D.A. Hall (1993).

51. The west coast shark fishery, draft management plan. D.A. Hall (1993).

52. Review of bag and size limit proposals for Western Australian recreational fishers. F.B. Prokop (May 1993).

53. Rock Lobster Industry Advisory Committee, Chairman’s report to the Minister for Fisheries. (May 1993)

54. Rock Lobster Industry Advisory Committee, Management proposals for 1993/94 and 1994/95 western rock lobster season (July 1993).

55. Rock Lobster Industry Advisory Committee, Chairman’s report to the Minister for Fisheries on management proposals for 1993/94 and 1994/95 western rock lobster seasons (September 1993).

56. Review of recreational gill, haul and cast netting in Western Australia. F. B. Prokop (October 1993).

57. Management arrangements for the southern demersal gillnet and demersal longline fishery 1994/95 season. (October 1993).

58. The introduction and translocation of fish, crustaceans and molluscs in Western Australia. C. Lawrence (October 1993).

59. Proceedings of the charter boat management workshop (held as part of the 1st National Fisheries Manager Conference). A. E. Magee & F. B. Prokop (November 1993).

60. Bag and size limit information from around Australia (Regulations as at September 1993) F. B. Prokop (January 1993).

61. Economic impact study. Commercial fishing in Western Australia Dr P McLeod & C McGinley (October 1994)

62. Management arrangements for specimen shell collection in Western Australia. J. Barrington, G. Stewart (June 1994)

63. Management of the marine aquarium fish fishery. J. Barrington (June 1994)

64. The Warnbro Sound crab fishery draft management plan. F. Crowe (June 1994)

65. Not issued

66. Future management of recreational gill, haul and cast netting in Western Australia and summary of submissions to the netting review. F.B. Prokop, L.M. Adams (September 1994)

67. Long term management strategies for the Western Rock Lobster Fishery. (4 volumes) Evaluation of management options Volume 1. B. K. Bowen (September 1994)

68. Long term management strategies for the Western Rock Lobster Fishery. (4 volumes) Economic efficiency of alternative input and output based management systems in the western rock lobster fishery, Volume 2. R.K. Lindner (September 1994)

69. Long term management strategies for the Western Rock Lobster Fishery. (4 volumes) A market-based economic assessment for the western rock lobster industry, Volume 3. Marec Pty Ltd (September 1994)

70. Long term management strategies for the Western Rock Lobster Fishery. (4 volumes) Law enforcement considerations, Volume 4. N. McLaughlan (September 1994)

71. The Rock Lobster Industry Advisory Committee Chairman’s Report, October 1994, The Western Rock Lobster Fishery - Management proposals for the 1994/95 and 1995/96 seasons (November 1994)

72. Shark Bay World Heritage Area draft management plan for fish resources. D. Clayton (November 1994)

73. The bag and size limit review: new regulations and summary of submissions. F. Prokop (May 1995)

74. Report on future management options for the South West trawl limited entry fishery. South West trawl limited entry fishery working group (June 1995)

75. Implications of Native Title legislation for fisheries management and the fishing industry in Western Australia. P. Summerfield (February 1995)

76. Draft report of the South Coast estuarine fishery working group. South Coast estuarine fishery working group. (February 1995)

77. The Offshore Constitutional Settlement, Western Australia. H. Brayford & G. Lyon (May 1995)

78. The Best Available Information - Its Implications for Recreational Fisheries Management. Workshop at Second National Fisheries Managers Conference, Bribie Island Queensland. F. Prokop (May 1995)

79. Management of the Northern Demersal Scalefish Fishery. J. Fowler (June 1995)

80. Management arrangements for specimen shell collection in Western Australia, 1995. J. Barrington & C. Campbell (March 1996)

81. Management Options (Discussion Paper) for the Shark Bay Snapper Limited Entry Fishery. Shark Bay Snapper Limited Entry Fishery Working Group, Chaired by Doug Bathgate (June 5)

82. The Impact of the New Management Package on Smaller Operators in the Western Rock Lobster Fishery R. Gould (September 1995)

83. Translocation Issues in Western Australia. Proceedings of a Seminar and Workshop held on 26 and 27 September 1994. F. Prokop (July 1995)

84. Bag and Size Limit Regulations From Around Australia. Current Information as at 1 July 1995. Third Australasian Fisheries Managers Conference, Rottnest Island. F. Prokop (July 1995)

85. West Coast Rock Lobster Fishery Management Plan 1995 - Draft for Public Comment. Edited by M. Moran (August 1995)

86. A Review of Ministerial Policy Guidelines for Rock Lobster Processing in Western Australia from the Working Group appointed by the Minister for Fisheries and chaired by Peter Rich (December 1995)

87. Same Fish - Different Rules. Proceedings of the National Fisheries Management Network Workshop held as part of the Third Australasian Fisheries Managers Conference. F. Prokop

88. Balancing the Scales - Access and Equity in Fisheries Management - Proceedings of the Third Australasian Fisheries Managers Conference, Rottnest Island, Western Australia 2 - 4 August 1995. Edited by P. Summerfield (February 1996)

89. Fishermen’s views on the future management of the rock lobster fishery. A report. Prepared on behalf of the Rock Lobster Industry Advisory Committee by The Marketing Centre. (August 1995)

90. A report on the issues effecting the use of the Dampier Archipelago. Peter Driscoll, Landvision Pty Ltd (March 1996)

91. Shark Bay World Heritage Property - Management Paper for Fish Resources. Kevin A Francesconi (September 1996)

92. Pearling and Aquaculture in the Dampier Archipelago - Existing and Proposed Operations. A report for public comment. Compiled by Ben Fraser (September 1996)

93. Shark Bay World Heritage Property - Summary of Public Submissions to the Draft Management Plan for Fish Resources. Kevin A Francesconi (September 1996)

94. Rock Lobster Industry Advisory Committee Report - Management arrangements for the Western Rock Lobster Fishery for the 1997/98 season. Frank Prokop (May 1997)

95. Australian Salmon and Herring Resource Allocation Committee. P McLeod & F Prokop (in press)

96. Summary Report of the Freshwater Aquaculture Taskforce (FAT) by Chris Wells (in press)

97. (in press)

98. A Pricing Policy for Fisheries Agencies - Standing Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture Management Committee. P Millington (March 1997)

99. Management of the South Coast Purse Seine Fishery. J Fowler, R Lenanton, M Moran & D Gaughan.

100. The Aquaculture of non-endemic species in Western Australia - Redclaw crayfish (Cherax quadricarinatus). Tina Thorne (June 1997)

101. Optimising the worth of the catch - Options and Issues. Marec Pty Ltd (September 1997)

102. Marine farm planning and consultation processes in Western Australia. Dave Everall (August 199)

103. Future management of the aquatic charter industry in Western Australia by the Tour Operators Fishing Working Group (September 1997)

104. Management of the Houtman Abrolhos System (draft). Prepared by the Abrolhos Islands Management Advisory Committee in conjunction with Fisheries Western Australia (October 1997)

105. Plan for the Management of the Houtman Abrolhos Fish Habitat Protection Area (draft). Prepared by the Abrolhos Islands Management Advisory Committee in conjunction with Fisheries Western Australia (October 1997)

106. The impact of Occupational Safety and Health on the management of Western Australian Fisheries. Cameron Wilson (in press)

107. The Aquaculture of non-endemic species in Western Australia - Silver Perch (Bidyanus bidyanus). Tina Thorne (June 1997)

108. Issues affecting Western Australia’s inshore crab fishery - Blue swimmer crab (Portunus pelagicus), Sand crab (Ovalipes australiensis). Cathy Campbell (September 1997)

109. Abalone Aquaculture in Western Australia. Cameron Westaway & Jeff Norriss (October 1997)

110. Proposed Voluntary Fishery Adjustment Scheme - South Coast Purse Seine Managed FisheryReport by Committee of Management (October 1997)

111. Management Options for Pilbara Demersal Line Fishing. Gaye Looby (December 1997)

112. Summary of Submissions to Fisheries Management Paper No. 108 - issues affecting Western Australia’s inshore crab fishery. Compiled by Cathy Campbell (April 1998)

113. Western Rock Lobster Management - Options and Issues. Prepared by Kevin Donohue on behalf of the Rock Lobster Industry Advisory Committee. (June 1998)

114. A Strategy for the Future Management of the Joint Authority Northern Shark Fishery. Prepared by Tim Bray and Jo Kennedy. (June 1998)

115. Guidelines for granting Aquaculture Leases. Prepared by Fisheries WA, the Aquaculture Development Council & the Aquaculture Council of WA. (July 1998)

116. Future Management of the Aquatic Charter Industry in Western Australia - Final Report. By the Tour Operators Fishing Working Group (September 1998)

117. Management of the Houtman Abrolhos System. Prepared by the Abrolhos Islands Management Advisory Committee in conjunction with Fisheries Western Australia. (December 1998)

118. Plan for the Management of the Houtman Abrolhos Islands Fish Habitat Protection Area (Schedule 1)

119. Access to Wildstock for Aquaculture Purposes (not published)

120. Draft Management Plan for Sustainable Tourism at the Houtman Abrolhos Islands. Prepared by LeProvost, Dames and Moore for the Abrolhos Islands Managment Advisory Committee in conjunction with Fisheries WA. (December 1998)

121. Future Directions for Tourism at the Houtman Abrolhos Islands - Draft for Public Comment. Prepared by LeProvost, Dames and Moore for the Abrolhos Islands Management Advisory Committee in conjunction with Fisheries WA. (December 1998)

122. Opportunities for the Holding/Fattening/Processing and Aquaculture of Western Rock Lobster (Panulirus cygnus). A discussion paper compiled by Fisheries WA. (November 1998)

123. Future directions for the Rock Lobster Industry Advisory Committee and the Western Rock Lobster Managed Fishery. A discussion paper prepared by Kevin Donohue on behalf of the Rock Lobster Industry Advisory Committee. (December 1998)

124. A Quality Future for Recreational Fishing in the Gascoyne. Proposals for Community Discussion. A five year management strategy prepared by the Gascoyne Recreational Fishing Working Group (May 1999)

125. Changes to Offshore Constitutional Settlement Arrangements; North West Slope Trawl Fishery and Western Deepwater Trawl Fishery. A discussion paper by Fiona Crowe and Jane Borg (May 1999)[not published]

126. The South Coast Estuarine Fishery. A discussion paper by Rod Pearn and Tony Cappelluti. (May 1999)

127. The Translocation of Barramundi. A discussion paper by Makaira Pty Ltd.[July 1999]

128. Shark Bay Pink Snapper Managed Fisheries in WA

129. Review of the Western Australian Pilchard Fishery 12 - 16 April 1999. Prepared by K.L. Cochrane, Fisheries Resource Division, Food and Agriculture Division of the United Nations (November 1999) in press

130. Developing New Fisheries in Western Australia. A guide to applicants for developing fisheries (November 1999) in press.

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