Harvest strategies

Research focus

This research program delivers critical outputs in support of the Department of Primary Industries Strategic Outcome – Sustainable Resources and Productive Landscapes, ensuring fishery resources are appropriately assessed and monitored for sustainability, using modern frameworks, for present and future generations. Fishery harvest strategies are a road map to achieve goals of sustainable, economic and social benefit to all stakeholders from the equitable management of the state’s fisheries resources. Harvest strategies explicitly link fishery objectives to predetermined management actions via the assessment of stock and fishery performance levels against defined trigger levels. The Harvest Strategies Research Program identifies viable, and improved options for data monitoring, scientific assessment and management decisions to support the development and review of harvest strategies. The research program includes research projects lead by scientists within the group investigating the integration of recreational fishing information into harvest strategies and developing Ecological Risk Assessments to evaluate the effectiveness of management actions and identify threats and mitigation measures to support the sustainable management of the State’s fisheries resources.

Current projects

Harvest strategy research

This project provides expert, context-specific guidance in the development of harvest strategies using the FishPath decision support tool and “bottom up” stakeholder engagement process and is co- funded through the Marine Estate Management Strategy. Outputs from FishPath workshops will be developed and extended to provide evidence based, short-listed harvest strategy components and pragmatic and more aspirational options within, implementation ready example fishery harvest strategies for key species, supporting harvest strategy development through formal DPI working groups. Project LeadRowan Chick

Evaluation of recreational fishing data

This project is developing and applying analytical techniques to describe the utility of data in historical and current NSW DPI Fisheries Recreational Fishery (RF) datasets to be applied in harvest strategies to measure the performance of relevant fishery objectives. This project is co- funded through the Marine Estate Management Strategy. Project LeadRowan Chick

Integrating recreational fishing information into harvest strategies for multi-sector fisheries in NSW

Fisheries management in NSW is transitioning to a harvest strategy approach, in line with accepted best practice for contemporary fisheries management. A harvest strategy is a framework that specifies the predetermined management actions necessary to sustainably manage the resource. Current models for developing harvest strategies do not adequately profile recreational fishing information. The key objective of this project is to develop a “best - practice” solution to the integration of recreational data into the harvest strategy development to ensure the recreational sector is adequately represented in the management process. This project is co-funded with Fisheries Research and Development Corporation & NSW Recreational Fishing Saltwater Trust. Project LeadAshley Fowler

Development of Ecological Risk Assessments for the risk management of NSW DPI Fisheries

This project addresses issues associated with fishing activities that were perceived by the Marine Estate Management community survey as a threat to particular environmental assets, including fish abundance and ecological relationships. To address and manage these threats detailed ecological risk assessments are needed. Development of ecological risk assessments will assist DRNSW fisheries resource and ecosystem habitat managers to identify and address specific factors that will lower the likelihood of not meeting harvest strategy objectives. Project  Lead: Karen Astles

Ecological Risk Assessment for trawl fishery byproduct - review and development

The UAIDR (ERA) method provides benefits to DPI Fisheries and supports objectives of the NSW Fisheries Harvest Strategy policy. This project supports the expert, independent technical review of the methodology, and a workshop to strengthen the ERA process. Engagement of external expert collaborators will substantially contribute to the foundational support for adopting UAIDR as the principle tool for ERA for DPI Fisheries. This project is co- funded through the Marine Estate Management Strategy. Project  Lead: Karen Astles

Key publications

Ashley M Fowler, Faith A Ochwada-Doyle, Natalie A Dowling, Heath Folpp, Julian M Hughes, Michael B Lowry, Jeremy M Lyle, Tim P Lynch, Nathan G Miles, Rowan C Chick. (2022) Integrating recreational fishing into harvest strategies: linking data with objectives. ICES Journal of Marine Science. https://doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/fsab270

Ashley M Fowler, Rowan C Chick, John Stewart (2018) Patterns and drivers of movement for a coastal benthopelagic fish, Pseudocaranx georgianus, on Australia’s southeast coast. Scientific Reports 8(1). https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-34922-6

Karen L. Astles, Roland Cormier (2018) Implementing Sustainably Managed Fisheries Using Ecological Risk Assessment and Bowtie Analysis. Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3659; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103659