Victorian Rock Lobster Management Plan
The Rock Lobster Fishery Management Plan was declared in 2009 and provides management direction for the fishery to ensure that this fishery is managed on an ecologically sustainable basis into the future.
Key aspects of this management plan are:
- Retention of the existing arrangements for Total Allowable Commercial Catch and individually transferable quota units.
- Investigate the possibility to establish a fully independent specialist panel comprising of fisheries science, economic and management skills to set the Total Allowable Commercial Catch for lobsters, with clear opportunities for fishers to make individual or collective submissions.
- A defined strategy for resource rebuilding and a new decision framework for the Total Allowable Commercial Catch-setting process (to be implemented in 2011) that is consistent with the principles of sustainable management and enables clear, transparent and objective decision-making.
- Retention of independently tradable quota units and pots within each commercial management zone, including the cap on the total number of pots in the fishery.
- Continued monitoring of changes in ecological risks to rock lobster stocks and habitats.
- A change in the timing of licensing and quota years to allow the most recent fishing catch data to be included in the stock assessment and Total Allowable Commercial Catch-setting process providing for more responsive fishery management.
- Establishment and use of economic performance indicators for the rock lobster fishery.
- Retention of the principle of resource sharing with a Total Allowable Catch for the recreational sector (i.e. Total Allowable Recreational Catch).
- A process for implementing an effective method of estimating the recreational rock lobster catch as input to the Total Allowable Recreational Catch.
- Reducing the possession limit for recreational fishing from 4 to 2 lobsters per person, thereby aligning with the daily bag limit and assisting compliance with catch limits.
- Establishment of a management advisory forum for the rock lobster fishery as a communication process to assist in improving management arrangements.
- A process for considering potential compliance tools such as tagging in the commercial fishery.
- A process for consulting the industry regarding the winter closure in the western zone fishery and other fishing business
A copy of the plan can be downloaded: