The role of international conferences on lobster biology and management: The Sagmariasus verreauxi experience
Montgomery, S. and Liggins, G.W., 2011. The role of international conferences on lobster biology and management: The Sagmariasus verreauxi experience. Presentation given at the 9th International Conference and Workshop on Lobster Biology and Management, 16 – 28 June 2011, Bergen, Norway.
Conferences and workshops provide an important channel for the exchange of information between researchers. This interaction played an important role when designing the science behind the recovery of the eastern rock lobster, Sagmariasus verreauxi stock off New South Wales, Australia. At the workshop on rock lobster biology and ecology in 1986 scientists agreed from the data presented that the long term fall in catches of S. verreauxi needed to be explained. This support was the catalyst for funding support from the main funder of fisheries research in Australia the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation for 2 projects the results of which showed that the S. verreauxi resource was over-exploited and that the spawning stock was likely to have been reduced. This led to restricted management in the fishery, and a long road of recovery back to what is now a viable fishery that funds the management, compliance research associated with the S. verreauxi stock. Interaction resulting from the International Conferences Workshops on Lobster Biology and Management and interstate rock lobster conferences within Australia influenced the priorities for research and the design of the research done on S. verreauxi in NSW. These also gave an increase in profile to research. This paper uses the S. verreauxi experience to illustrate the impact that conferences may have in research direction and as an influential force lending support to practical research in particularly fisheries whose economic value does not in bureaucratic considerations justify research expenditure.