Thank you to all WRL Members and Stakeholders who joined us at one (or more!) of our coastal tour meetings over the last 2 weeks!
The March Coastal Tour was a great opportunity for members to meet with the WRL Directors, staff and other industry members as well as DPIRD managers and scientists.
The meetings allowed for WRL members, fishers and stakeholders to discuss a wide range of industry related topics including TACC setting, large pot weight, seismic survey activities, occupational health and safety, industry levy, mechanisms to achieve flat rate per kilo for licence fees and the Easter Local Lobster Program.
In addition, Matt Taylor CEO gave an extensive overview of WRL’s current priorities and activities including the independent peer review, TACC decision making process, WRL’s alternate funding model proposal to the Minister, a scoping study to create a WA based national institute for spiny lobster research and the establishment of the new Fishing Operations Sub-committee. A question and answer session was held at the end of each meeting to address any concerns members, fishers or stakeholders had with regard to WRL activities, the fishery or fishing operations.
Representatives from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) joined us
It was fantastic to have Graeme Baudains, Carli Telfer and Laura Orme from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) join us on this coastal tour. Their presence allowed members and stakeholders to ask questions and get to know the new DPIRD rock lobster management team. This collaboration in attendance, presentation and responses were beneficial to members and fishers and we aim to continue this for future coastal tours.
In addition, Simon de Lestang, Principal Research Scientist from DPIRD attended to address any science specific questions raised during the meeting.
UWA Researchers conducted research interviews with fishers
Researchers from UWA were also in attendance to collect information from past and current commercial western rock lobster fishers on lobster catchability and long term catch rate trends. They invited fishers to participate in a study being conducted by UWA in collaboration with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development – Sustainability and Biosecurity Division (formerly Fisheries) and the Western Rock Lobster Council as part two of an FRDC funded project. Participants were interviewed by four PhD students before, during and after the meetings. The aim of this study is to collect information from past and current commercial western rock lobster fishers on two aspects of the western rock lobster fishery: lobster catchability and long term catch rate trends.
The interviews conducted by the researchers were well received by fishers and WRL and UWA would like to thank all those who participated! Your participation in the research of our valuable fishery is extremely important and was presented by UWA as part of the independent peer review’s first workshop. If you would like to participate but were unable to on the day please contact Tim Langlois on 0423 708 312 or firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a suitable time.
WRL met with young future leaders
WRL also met with some of the successful and unsuccessful Fishing Operations Subcommittee (FOS) applicants to discuss how to better engage with and build capacity in our younger generation members, fishers and stakeholders. These were valuable meetings and WRL are encouraged by the interest and leadership shown by our younger industry members. More to follow on some exciting new developments!