Fisheries Research Articles

Recreational fisheries data requirements for monitoring catch shares

Document Type


Publication Date


Journal Title

Fisheries Management and Ecology


Print: 0969-997X Electronic: 1365-2400


catch share, commercial, fisheries governance, integratedfisheries management, recreational, survey sampling


Aquaculture and Fisheries | Marine Biology


Catch sharing among fishing sectors requires credible data for decision-making, allocation and management. Integrated Fisheries Management in Western Australia formally allocates allowable catch for Western Rock Lobster (WRL) (Panulirus cygnus) with 95% commercial and 5% recreational; Roe's abalone (Haliotis roei) with 36 t commercial and 40 t recreational; and West Coast Demersal Scalefish (WCDS) with 64% commercial and 36% recreational. While commercial catch is obtained from statutory returns, estimates of recreational catches from surveys depend upon spatial and temporal scales of the resource and fishing activity. WRL is a single-species, licensed recreational fishery operating across large spatial and temporal scales. Mail surveys supplemented with occasional phone-recall surveys provide cost-effective monitoring. Roe's abalone is a single-species, licensed recreational fishery operating over restricted spatial and temporal scales appropriate for aerial-access surveys. The WCDS recreational fishery targets multiple species across large spatial and temporal scales. The introduction of charter logbooks and a Recreational Fishing from Boat Licence has provided the basis for monitoring charter and private boat-based recreational fishing. Monitoring allocations is ongoing, with routine surveys required to provide catch estimates with a known confidence. This study highlights the application and importance of surveys in providing timely and accurate data for formal catch sharing.