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Western Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development








On 27 October 2023, the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD, Department) convened an ecological risk assessment (ERA) of the fisheries that access the statewide Cephalopod Resource (Resource), which comprises a range of octopus, squid and cuttlefish species. This document contains the background information used to support the ERA risk scoring process, and a summary of the workshop discussions that were relevant to the risk scoring. The background information includes an overview of Western Australian commercial fisheries that access the Resource, focusing primarily on the Octopus Interim Managed Fishery (OIMF), Cockburn Sound Line and Pot Managed Fishery (CSLPMF), South Coast Line and Fish Trap Managed Fishery (SCLFTMF), and commercial open-access fisheries (OAF) in each bioregion. This report also includes information about statewide recreational and charter fisheries that access the Resource. The Department conducts ERAs as part of its Ecosystem Based Fisheries Management (EBFM) framework. Accordingly, the ERA considered the potential ecological impacts of harvesting of the Resource. This includes impacts of fishing on all relevant retained and bycatch (non-retained) species, endangered, threatened and protected species, aquatic habitats and the broader environment. Risk scores were determined during the ERA workshop, based on available scientific information and expert knowledge. The assessment conformed to the AS/NZS ISO 31000 risk management standard, and to the methodology adopted by the Department, which uses a consequence-likelihood analysis for estimating risk. A broad range of stakeholders were invited to participate in the ERA workshop, including representatives of the commercial, recreational, and charter fishing sectors, State and Commonwealth Government agencies, the conservation sector, universities, and DPIRD staff including fisheries managers, scientists, compliance officers and biosecurity personnel. Outcomes and scoring from the workshop are summarised in this document. Thirty-eight ecological components were scored for risk, including individual components that were separated by bioregion or by fishery. The vast majority (32) of ecological components were evaluated as low or negligible risks, which do not require any specific control measures. There were 6 medium risks, which were assessed as acceptable under the current monitoring regime and control measures that will be in place over the next five years. No components were scored as high or severe risks. It is recommended that the risks be reviewed in five years.

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octopus, squid, cuttlefish, fishing, fishery, ecological impact


Aquaculture and Fisheries | Marine Biology

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